Deborah Hartz-Seeley's Posts (743)

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One council member will be selected for a three-year term to the Group 2 seat previously held by Councilwoman Cindy Austino. Councilman Lynn Moorhouse was re-elected to a fourth term in Group 1 without opposition. If no candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote, March 12, a runoff between the top two vote getters will be held March 26. 


Malcolm Balfour
75, married, two grown daughters, English and sociology degrees.

Professional: Retired celebrity television and newspaper journalist and editor, including 27 years at the New York Post, seven years at the National Enquirer and stints with Inside Edition and Hard Copy.

Political experience:  Former chairman of the Lantana Nature Preserve Commission.

Position on issues: Wants to help guide the redevelopment of the A.G. Holley Hospital property for suitable business use to rebuild the town tax base. Thinks the town should guard against a proliferation of drug rehabilitation houses. Believes a balanced Town Council is important. 


Quote: “We’re fighting to keep Lantana the quaint, small town that it is.”


Joe Farrell

Personal:  50, married, no children, degree in business administration.

Professional: Architectural design consultant for flooring companies. Formerly a flooring contractor.

Political experience: Town Planning Commissionmember. Lost council election in 2011.

Position on issues: Wants a Max Planck or Scripps-type development on the A.G. Holley Hospital property or, at worst, light industrial or mixed use. The resulting larger tax base would allow the redevelopment of downtown. Supports public parking from the beach to the library and traffic calming measures along U.S. 1. 

Quote: “Lantana needs to shed the ‘50s mentality.”


Rosemary Mouring
66, married, two grown sons, attended Palm Beach Junior College.

Professional: Retired retail manager and banking employee. President of the Lantana Historical Society and officer in several other community organizations.

Political experience: Lantana Planning Commission member, Library board member. Unsuccessful mayoral candidate in 2004 and 2006.

Position on issues: Wants to lead an amicable resolution with the state of the sale of the A.G. Holley Hospital. Wants to see business move in on the property but not big box stores. Would push to make sure the Ocean Avenue bridge opens on schedule to revitalize the businesses along the street.

Quote: “We call Lantana a small town fishing village for a good reason.”

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Elizabeth Thompson’s painting, Undulation Courtesy image


By Mary Jane Fine

Elizabeth Thompson’s house is a proper Old Florida house, shaded by greenery, all-but-enveloped by greenery — Tarzan wouldn’t look out of place, swinging past on the vines that dangle from leaf-entwined banyans — a house bedecked with narrow balconies and white gingerbread trim to offset its butter yellow clapboard exterior.

If not for the ocean behind it, the setting might be a jungle-y Everglades, perfect for an artist who has taken the ’Glades into her heart.

On this mid-afternoon in February, she is fielding phone calls, finalizing details for framings and invitations and brochures and publicity for her upcoming “Stories From the Everglades,” a one-woman show in every sense. 

“This is a very bold move for me,” she says, standing in the entryway of her 19th-century Ocean Ridge home, originally one of five cottages that belonged to Maj. Nathan Boynton’s late, great Boynton Beach Hotel. “I have not shown the Everglades paintings in Florida before, and I wanted to show a lot, the whole enchilada, so I’m doing it myself.”


Elizabeth Thompson and her cat Dallas, a Scottish Fold,
relax beneath a painting of Thompson’s titled Palmetto Morning. 

Tim Stepien/The Coastal Star

The doing began back in 2006, when Thompson spent the month of November as Everglades National Park artist-in-residence, a program she applied to after learning of it “just scooting around the Internet.”

Acceptance came at a difficult time. Her husband of 30 years had just died and, as she says, “I needed to reboot.” The thought of getting away appealed; the thought of the Everglades as getting-away-to place gave pause.

“This meant that I lived alone in the swamp, in Spartan quarters, without phone, television or Internet,” Thompson writes on her website. “I was unprepared for the power of the experience. Initially, the possibility of an encounter with alligators, snakes, scorpions and panthers was terrifying. As the time for my adventure drew near, it was the reality of living alone in the wilderness (with the exception of the park rangers with whom I ‘slogged’ through the swamps), that was truly scary.”


Elizabeth Thompson’s painting titled Fan Dance. Courtesy image


Uneasily at first, she settled into her accommodations at Arthur R. Marshall Park, half of a spare, single-story duplex, modestly equipped — a washer and dryer required venturing out, across an open area, where goodness-knew-what might lurk — but boasting a small air conditioner. “I did my laundry at night,” she recalls. “That was the only scary part. It’s so dark. I mean, so dark. There isn’t a flashlight big enough.” 

For company, she brought books, steeping herself in the magical realism of Anne Tyler and Alice Hoffman. She jotted notes in a journal. She took photographs. She painted.

And, every day, she explored, often with park rangers as her guides.

As the days melded into weeks, her solitude and surroundings brought healing. “The noise in my head got quieter and quieter,” she says.

In the Everglades, she limited herself to watercolors. Back in Ocean Ridge — “my base,” she calls it, as she lives part of the year in New York and spends two months in Paris — she began working in oil, experimenting with technique and modes of expression. She calls her earlier pieces “the flat paintings,” photographic in style. Later, she began playing with focus and depth of field and, as she says, “letting accidents happen” to create a blurring effect, a puddling of paint, a bubbling of pigment when it mixes with turpentine or kerosene or linseed oil.

Her show, which opens in Palm Beach on March 5 and runs through April 5, will showcase it all: the watercolors, the flat paintings, the more experimental ones, a series that re-imagines iconic paintings in an Everglades setting: Masaccio’s Expulsion from the Garden of Eden (the snake is a python), Manet’s  Le déjeuner sur l’herbe, Rousseau’s Flutist

In Manhattan, Thompson is represented by the Leila Heller Gallery, which exhibited the series last year. In South Florida, on her own to scout a display space, she found it in the Royal Poinciana Plaza. A good friend, Maribel Alvarez — “I’m a huge fan of her work,” she says — has helped spread the word about the upcoming show. 

In the Florida room of Thompson’s house, the phone rings, the sixth call in an hour. This time, it’s the printer asking about the flier that promotes her show. She picks up the prototype; turns it over, front to back; answers a question or two; thanks the caller; hangs up.

“That’s what I do all day,” she says and smiles, ticking off the raft of minutiae that accompanies the planning of her own art show. “Answer phone calls, answer emails. This is a total experiment.”  Ú


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“Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody’s

going to know whether you did it or not.”
— Oprah Winfrey


Who knows if Oprah really said this, or if one her writers provided these sage words, but in any case, I believe it’s true.

And it’s what we practice behind the scenes at The Coastal Star. I’m sure readers aren’t aware of the decisions we make this time of year regarding election coverage, our regular refusal of unsolicited content (often aimed at self-promotion) and our foundational decision to not pursue pay-to-play advertising (where advertisers get editorial coverage in exchange for their ad business). 

We know we are “old school” in some of our decisions and we realize our revenue is occasionally challenged by publications that play by a different set of rules. But that’s OK.

We live here. We care about our island communities. We want our publication to thrive financially so that we can keep photographing and writing about our towns in a way that illustrates the good and the beautiful. But we take seriously our responsibility to expose the bad and the ugly, so that it can be addressed by the community. You can’t do that by being beholden to advertisers or candidates.

Most of your local elected officials understand this and play by similar standards. While we do not endorse candidates, we encourage you to read our coverage and go to the polls if your city has a March 12 ballot.

We thank the many readers (and our peers) who have heaped praise on our journalistic efforts and will endeavor to keep earning it.

We also recognize and thank the loyal advertisers you see on our pages each month. They, too, are a part of this community and I ask that you support them by “shopping the shore.”

They understand that even though we may be “old school” in our publishing approach, we all share one primary, underlying (and often behind the scenes) principle: integrity.


Mary Kate Leming,
Executive Editor

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Workers prepare the concrete cap for replacement of one of many
seawalls damaged during Hurricane Sandy along the beach in Manalapan.


More than 150 truckloads of sand were hauled to the north end of Delray Beach. A massive project to pump in sand starts in March.

 Photos by Jerry Lower/
The Coastal Star

By Cheryl Blackerby

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has asked for additional monitoring and reporting of wildlife, particularly sea turtles, since the Delray Beach beach renourishment project is scheduled to begin after turtle season’s start on March 1.

The additional tasks include shore bird monitoring, light monitoring at the dredge site on the beach, leatherback turtle monitoring from 9 p.m. until 6 a.m., nest relocation reporting and monitoring of the steep slope of cut off beach at the shoreline, called an escarpment. “We amended the opinion we did in September 2011 for the planned beach renourishment,” said Jeff Howe, biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Vero Beach, who is working on the Delray Beach project.

7960434097?profile=originalSand dredged from the Boynton Inlet will flow through these pipes 
to replenish Ocean Hammock Park in Ocean Ridge. 

“We will have to do early morning sea turtle surveys,” he said, giving an example of turtle monitoring.

The National Marine Fisheries Service has jurisdiction over swimming turtles that may be affected by 24-hour offshore dredging for about six weeks. The FWS has jurisdiction over nesting turtles on land.

Additional tasks include extensive escarpment reporting with weekly surveys that will include mitigation for any escarpment exceeding 18 inches in height and 100 feet in length and submittal of annual summary reports for up to three years.

Increased lighting survey reporting and additional reproductive success reporting for each of the three turtle species also will be required.

In response to the additional monitoring tasks, John Fletemeyer, who will do the monitoring for the city, has requested more compensation to cover the added tasks in the amount of $12,600 in 2013 and $14,400 in 2014 to the existing yearly contract amount of $38,750. He asked the commission to authorize this amendment to the last two years of his three-year agreement for sea turtle monitoring through Oct. 31, 2014.

7960434269?profile=originalA 30-foot-tall tripod-like vehicle arrived on Delray’s beach to help
with survey efforts needed before sand can be pumped from the ocean floor.

 A drop-off in turtle nesting might happen in the first year after dredging, but turtles will usually return the second year,” said Scott Pape, senior planner with the city of Delray Beach.

“You can’t predict what will happen, but we’ve experienced statewide a drop-off in turtle nesting in the first year after beach renourishment projects. I expect we will see a curve with the turtles coming back the second year,” he said.

The sand trucked into the dunes on the beach north of the city’s municipal beach was a response to the surge from Hurricane Sandy, he said, and not part of the long-range plan. For small dune projects such as that one, it is usual procedure to buy inland sand, he said.

The dune project won’t include the replacement of vegetation including sea oats lost in the storm, he said, adding that much of the vegetation is expected to grow back.

A convoy of trucks lined up on A1A Feb. 19 to deliver the 2,500 cubic yards of inland sand at a cost of $138,666 to the dunes to the north of the city’s beach as part of the city’s Emergency Dune/Beach Restoration Project, according to information released by the city. The city received a permit from the Florida Department of Environmental Project to use sand from a mine in Moore Haven, 90 miles from Delray Beach.

Funding for this project is expected to be included within the financing package to pay for the regularly scheduled dredge project.

The north beach is outside the routine 10-year renourishment plan. That $9.2 million project includes beaches that run from just north of Atlantic Avenue to 700 feet south of Linton Boulevard. More than 1 million cubic yards of sand will come from offshore dredging.

Beach property owners had asked the city to seek an emergency state permit to put additional sand north and south of the planned project because of sand loss in those areas and damage to the dunes.

There are no plans presently to bring sand to the beach south of the regularly planned renourishment.

The dredge that will be used offshore for the Delray Beach project is dredging the Port of Palm Beach and the Palm Beach Inlet. The red, 305-foot-long Texas is one of the world’s most powerful cutterhead dredges. The overall length of the big dredge with the idler barge is 594 feet, almost two football fields.

Richard Spadoni, executive director of Coastal Planning and Engineering in Boca Raton, the company that is directing the dredge work, said the dredge will move offshore Delray Beach around mid-to late-March with work continuing for about six weeks. Before dredging starts, pre-construction activity will include stockpiling of piping and other materials. The sand replacement will start near Atlantic Avenue and work south.

There are two miles of public beach in Delray Beach, and together the Atlantic Dunes Park and Delray Municipal Beach attract about 1 million visitors a year, a huge tourism draw, according to the Downtown Development Authority.

Boca Raton also is trucking in inland sand to repair damaged dunes on the north beach. The 5,000 tons of sand — 3,600 cubic yards — will cost about $170,000.

“It’s a small dune project. It’s 2,000 feet in length. It starts at the northern end of  Red Reef Park and runs south,” said Jennifer Bistyga, coastal program manager for the city of Boca Raton.

Sand is expected to be delivered in the first part of March. “It shouldn’t take long, at most 10 days, and the best case scenario is five or six days,” she said.

Boca’s beaches are broken into three areas and are on different renourishment schedules: The north beach is on a 10-year cycle, the central beach is on an eight- to 10-year cycle, and the south beach is between six and eight years.

And, of course, storms may accelerate those schedules, like Sandy did for the north and central beaches, which are still recovering from Sandy.

“But we’re seeing sandbars offshore, and some of that sand will be coming back. And we look a lot better than beaches in other areas such as Fort Lauderdale,” she said.

At least part of the reason Boca’s beaches fared so well was the dunes. “We have such a great dune system, and that took a beating but that’s the dunes’ purpose,” she said.
Ocean Ridge’s beaches will get restoration next year. The Army Corps of Engineers approved the county’s assessment of damage at Ocean Ridge’s beach, according to Dan Bates, deputy director of Palm Beach County Environmental Resource Management.

Beach-compatible sand from the dredging of Boynton Inlet, which is under way,  will go to Ocean Ridge Hammock Park.

Many residents are worried about how beach restoration will affect turtle nesting season, which began March 1 and lasts through Nov. 1.

“In Boca, they won’t be doing any work at night and so that will have no impact. If they have a dredge in Delray, they will be pumping 24 hours a day, and generally for a project that size they will allow nests to be relocated,” said Kirt Rusenko, marine conservationist at Gumbo Limbo Nature Center in Boca Raton.

The first turtles to arrive on beaches are leatherbacks, but those are very few. Rusenko counted 33 leatherback nests last year from March to June, and 994 loggerhead nests from May 1 to Oct. 31. Rusenko said the permit from the Department of Environmental Protection allows him to move turtle nests if necessary.

Sandy’s surge left escarpments as high as 4 and 5 feet on Boca and Delray beaches. If turtle nests are found at the foot of cliffs and are in danger of being washed out, those nests will be moved, Rusenko said. 

And turtles will most likely move along the shore until they can get onto the beach and find a place to nest.  

7960433886?profile=original            Imported sand trucked in from a mining site south of Lake Okeechobee is lighter-colored than the natural sand already on Delray’s beach.       

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Live, Work, Play: Third of a three-part series looking at the downtowns of  Delray BeachBoca Raton and Boynton Beach

7960441098?profile=originalA wrecking ball demolishes what remains of the Bank of America
building on Federal Highway at Ocean Avenue in Boynton Beach
in January. Tim Stepien/The Coastal Star


By Tim Pallesen

Developers are busy in the downtowns of Delray Beach and Boca Raton.

New residential projects are getting city approvals. The vision for downtowns where young professionals live, work and play is within reach.

But major developers are reluctant to invest in Boynton Beach ’s downtown.

“A lot of developers are scared away from Boynton Beach because of that city’s lack of unity,” said Bill Morris, a developer in the other two cities.

Boynton Beach has been a city in turmoil. The mayor got arrested and city commissioners resigned. Property values fell sharply in the recession, and crime is perceived as a problem.

But interim Mayor Woodrow Hay says recent events show Boynton Beach is getting its act together.

The City Commission filled two vacancies and gave a permanent job to Lori LaVerriere, who had been interim city manager for 18 months, on Dec. 18.

“We now have a full City Commission and a full-time city manager,” Hay said. “So the stability is here. That problem has been resolved.

“Now we’re working our tails off to get people to take a second look at Boynton,” he said.

City officials joined the Chamber of Commerce and the Community Redevelopment Agency on a Jan. 17 bus tour to show commercial real estate agents their downtown vision.

“They saw three agencies working together,” Chamber Chairman Jonathon Porges said. “The word is out that Boynton is open for business. The train is pulling away from the station and we are all on board.”

Boynton, like Boca Raton, doesn’t have a historical downtown similar to Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach.

“We’re starting from scratch,” CRA director Vivian Brooks said. “Ocean Avenue goes right to the beach, so we’re trying to capitalize on that.”

So far, Boynton’s downtown has two pieces in place.

The city has spent $6 million to make Boynton Harbor Marina a destination. Boynton is the only downtown that has charter boats for deep-sea fishing. Two Georges and Banana Boat are popular nightspots.

Young professionals rent apartments that overlook the marina. Although most commute to jobs outside the city, at least they enjoy a place to live and play.

The other existing piece is the towering Promenade condo project that opened on Federal Highway north of Ocean Avenue when the housing market was collapsing four years ago. The condos didn’t sell and the project went into foreclosure.

The Related Group took control of the Promenade last December, when only 72 of the 395 condos in the 14-floor twin towers had been sold. A company spokesman says Boynton is “the only frontier left for growth near the water.”

Now some city leaders are focusing on two more key pieces — an old high school and a proposed train station — to bring people into the downtown and stimulate new residential development.

The abandoned high school would become Ocean Avenue’s western anchor to create a downtown that extends west of Federal Highway.

The vision is for the rebuilt school as a destination similar to Old School Square in Delray Beach with restaurants, retail and a banquet hall. The city has signed a contract with an architect who is trying to get financing for the project.

LaVerriere describes the commuter train station proposed between Ocean Avenue and Boynton Beach Boulevard on Fourth Street as a “transforming moment” for the downtown, if it is built.

Another key property if Boynton’s downtown is to come alive is the site of the former Bank of America building on the northeast corner of Ocean Avenue and Federal Highway. A major project there would be a centerpiece for redevelopment much like the proposed Atlantic Crossing in Delray Beach and Archstone in Boca Raton, developers and supporters say.

Boynton just needs to persuade developers to take a chance.

“I understand that some developers have shied away because of the political climate,” said Nancy Byrne, the city development services director. “But if they can weather the political winds, their projects will go through smoothly.”

Boynton Beach might need to get past its March 12 city election before developers believe Boynton leaders are unified in their downtown vision.

Commissioner Steven Holzman opposes Commissioner Jerry Taylor in the mayor’s race.

Holzman says Taylor, a former mayor with 10 years on the commission, contributed to downtown problems.

“We have very big problems to overcome because people like my opponent had no vision,” Holzman said. “Boynton has allowed other cities to leapfrog over us because of missed opportunities, terrible decisions and no planning.”

Taylor disputes that: “He’s wrong when he says I held them back. He doesn’t realize that I put together the master plan.”

The owner of the former Bank of America site has told Brooks that he doesn’t want to develop his property. “But I’m working with him,” Taylor said. “He’s supporting me big-time in my campaign.”

Holzman has led the push to make the old high school a downtown attraction.

“The success of that project is so vital to create life in an area that has none. We should do everything in our power to make it a rousing success,” he said.

But Taylor wants a City Hall on the site. “I will build a new City Hall with the façade of the old high school, if that’s what everyone wants,” Taylor joked before commissioners split 3-2 on whether to go ahead with the high school project on Feb. 5.  Taylor sees the train station as a stimulus, but Holzman says the proposal for Florida East Coast commuter trains is uncertain.

“They’ve been talking about that for 10 years,” he said. “We can’t plan around and pray for something that may or may not happen.”

So disagreement continues and developers shy away at least until after the election.

“Political stability is important for investors. If you want to build a $100 million building, you want to know everything is going to be stable from beginning to end,” Brooks said.

Boynton leaders look south to Delray Beach to see what they can only wish that their downtown could be.

“Delray has been able to achieve continuity of vision,” Brooks said. “We haven’t had that here.”

Holzman said developers will only invest if they know what the city envisions will be built around their projects.

“I would love to see our downtown as a place to live, work and play — but we have to be realistic,” Holzman said. “Maybe we could be a smaller version of Delray.”        


The three-part Live Work Play series is available online at

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Fran Marincola, owner of Caffé Luna Rosa in Delray Beach,
has donated his baseball photographs to the Delray Beach
Public Library. Tim Stepien/The Coastal Star


By Ron Hayes

Scan the walls of Caffé Luna Rosa, Delray Beach’s longtime oceanfront restaurant, and you’ll find a feast of memorabilia nearly as tasty as the items on the menu.

Here’s Mickey Mantle’s first contract with the New York Yankees, signed in March 1954. He was paid $21,000 that year.

Here’s a Life magazine cover of Mantle from his second year in the majors. Autographed. And another from his last.

And here’s an autographed photo of Frank Sinatra.

“I’ve got a lot of pieces on my wall at home, too,” says Fran Marincola, the owner. “When I die, the Delray Beach library gets ’em.”

Several years ago, he bought two paper bags full of baseball memorabilia from a regular customer named James Murray — baseballs and photographs signed by men every baseball fanatic knows.

Don Larsen, for example. The library now owns a signed, black-and-white photo of Larsen taken on Oct. 8, 1956, the day he pitched the first perfect game in a World Series.

Recently, Marincola donated most of his collection to the library, for other baseball fans to enjoy.

“If you grew up in the East Coast in the 1940s and ’50s, as I did, you have vivid memories of watching these legends play,” he says 

Marincola was born in Upper Darby, Pa., 73 years ago, graduated from Villanova University with a degree in economics and used his education to open a hot dog stand on the boardwalk in Seaside Heights, N.J.

“My mother wanted me to wear a suit,” he says. “I wanted to make money. I figured there’d be money in a boardwalk business.”

The hot dogs led to Philly cheesesteaks on the Long Branch, N.J., boardwalk, a couple of nightclubs, early retirement, a move to Delray Beach in 1980, and then, in 1993, Caffé Luna Rosa.

During those 20 years, he’s served on the city’s Downtown Development Authority and Parking Management Advisory Board.

Now he relaxes, goes on vacation with his girlfriend of 13 years and dotes on his pets — two dogs, a cat and a parrot.

And he dispenses opinions with the kind of in-your-face self-assurance that genteel Southerners find off-putting, until they realize this is how people from New York and New Jersey show friendship.

The best commercial hot dog to buy?

“Schickhaus,” Marincola said. “Absolute best. And Sabrett’s is second.”

The Academy Awards?

“I’ll tell you. Best Actor is gonna be Daniel Day-Lewis. But Bradley Cooper deserves it.”

Sally Field? 

“Not a chance.”


“I was a Republican all my life, but that Iraq war got under my skin. To go into another country without being attacked is just wrong.”

And Caffé Luna Rosa?

“I’ve got 50 to 60 employees,” he says, “and my motto is, whatever you’re doing, try to be the best at it and you’ll get fulfillment. Whether you’re tending bar or a bus boy, be the best and you’ll move up.”

A year ago, Marincola gave 50 percent ownership in the restaurant to four longtime employees.

“So now there’s someone here every day from 7 in the morning to 10 at night who owns the place. That’s what you need to run a good restaurant.”                             Ú

Marincola’s donated baseball photographs can be seen at the Delray Beach Public Library, 100 W. Atlantic Ave. The library is open 9 a.m.-8 p.m.  Mon.-Wed.; 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Thurs.-Sat.; and 1-5 p.m. Sunday.

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By Rich Pollack

Responding to concerns of residents living near the Intracoastal Waterway and the beach, Delray Beach city commissioners have once again put off approval of any changes to the city’s controversial noise ordinance until representatives of all sides of the issue can have their say.  

After being presented with a compromise amended noise ordinance hammered out over several weeks by the city legal staff with input from area restaurant owners, the commission voted 4-1 in February to table the issue until a later meeting. 

Commissioners are hoping that meetings involving everyone concerned — residents, restaurant owners and city officials — will lead to yet another version of the ordinance that all can live with. 

“We have a lot of smart people in Delray Beach,” Commissioner Christina Morrison said following the meeting. “If we all get in the same room together, I’m sure we can come up with a solution. Everybody may not be thrilled, but it will be fair.”

Under the amended ordinance proposal presented to the commission last month, noise restrictions in the downtown area would be in effect between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and from 1 a.m. to 7 a.m. on weekends. Noise from musical instruments, stereos and other devices that were “plainly audible” more than 100 feet from a businesses property line would be considered in violation.

The amended ordinance dramatically reduced fines for violations from earlier versions, with fines for civil citations issued by police officers ranging from $250 for first offenses to $500 for repeat offenses. The proposed ordinance still left the door open for the city’s code enforcement board to issue fines of up to $5,000 for offenders who have excessive repeat violations within a calendar year.

“I think the proposal before the commission is fair and reasonable,” said Burt Rapoport, owner of Deck 84 and a spokesman for a group of restaurant and bar owners who formed the Downtown Hospitality Group in response to an earlier version of the ordinance.

In speaking before the commission last month, several residents living near restaurants that offer live music complained about not being informed of the changes and not being involved in discussions. Others expressed concerns about the enforceability of a revamped ordinance. 

“It appears the residents and citizens haven’t been considered in this ordinance,” said Genie DePonte, who owns a home in the city’s Marina Historic District near Deck 84. “We need more time to have community meetings.” 

Calling the revamped ordinance “wishy-washy,” Andy Katz, representing the Beach Property Owners Association, told commissioners the definition of a violation under the proposed changes leaves too much up to interpretation.

“We need to make sure we have enforceable limits on noise,” he said. “Please consider having something that is going to be easier for our police officers to enforce.”

Rapoport, speaking after the meeting, said he is fine with the commission’s decision to delay a vote on the amended ordinance. 

“I think its only fair for everyone who wants to have input to be able to do so,” he said. “I know if the tables were reversed, I would want to have my opportunity.”

After listening to comments from residents the City Commission agreed — with Commissioner Adam Frankel dissenting — that additional meetings were needed before a final noise ordinance could be approved. In the interim, enforcement of the city’s current noise ordinance remains suspended.

“I think we have to go back to the drawing board,” Mayor Tom Carney said.                   Ú

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An ordinance is in the works in Ocean Ridge that would require rental properties to register with the town, pay a fee and undergo inspection. Commissioners directed Town Attorney Ken Spillias to prepare the document at its February meeting.

Commissioners and residents discussed the measures to regulate rentals, such as illegal vacation rentals under 30 days. 

Resident suggestions  including limiting the times a home can be rented each year, as well as the number of unrelated people living in the home. 

Several talked about including a fine that would provide more of a deterrent than currently, although Spillias said it is now as high as $250 a day.

— Margie Plunkett


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Ocean Ridge: Townhouse plan approved

Ocean Ridge Town Commission gave thumbs-up at its February meeting to a site plan that would replace an apartment complex with townhouses at 3 Adams Road, just east of A1A.

The developer, Ernie Varvarikos of Ocean Breeze LLC, plans to demolish Ocean Breeze, a 15-unit apartment and develop seven townhouses with small individual pools and parking spaces. 

Former Mayor Ken Kaleel represented Ocean Breeze before the commission.

— Margie Plunkett


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With the North Atlantic Drive/Beach Curve drainage project complete, Lantana is prepared to begin paving the roads and doing additional drainage improvements on Hypoluxo Island.

At its Feb. 26 meeting, the town approved a contract with M&M Ashpalt Maintenance Inc. for the paving and drainage work on North Atlantic Drive, Beach Curve Road and Barefoot Lane from South Atlantic Drive to the Intracoastal Waterway in an amount not to exceed $269,999.

Work is to be completed within 120 days.

 – Mary Thurwachter


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By Betty Wells

An analysis comparing the 1985 value of nearly 2,000 acres in Delray Beach to current value is nearly complete by the Community Redevelopment Agency staff.

Compiling the numbers is the first step in researching whether the city should cut the size of the CRA district. Money that now goes to the CRA could then be redirected to the city. Commissioner Angeleta Gray has said the city needs the money, and that there are a number of areas in the CRA that are not slums or blighted, conditions required for land to be improved by the CRA.

Vince Wooten, CRA development manager, collected the data at the Palm Beach County Property Appraiser’s Office, sifting through old records and microfiche.

He said his work was done and agenda director Diane Colonna was prepared to present the information to the City Commission at its Feb. 12 meeting, but “backed off because there were some discrepancies found.”

Colonna then was out of the office the week of Feb. 18, he said.

Elizabeth Burrows, CRA marketing and grants manager, said on Feb. 21 that it was discovered more information and evaluation was needed.

“We are on track to have a more final answer soon, at which time we will submit a response to the City Commission,” Burrows said.

The CRA’s funding formula is based on the difference in property value from 1985, when the agency was formed, and its current value, so the agency and city need to know the comparison of values to discuss changes in the district.           Ú

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Delray Beach city commissioners have given their blessing to plans that will split the historic oceanfront property that was the 1930s home of famed cartoonist Fontaine Fox.

City commissioners voted in February to advance developer Frank McKinney’s plan and for a name change to “Historic Fontaine Fox House Properties” in the Local Register of Historic Places. The city’s Historic Preservation Board unanimously approved the project.

McKinney wants to divide the parcel into two lots and remove a 1960s addition to the original Fox home at 610 N. Ocean Blvd. He also intends to add a connection between the main house and an existing greenhouse.

McKinney says the newly created parcel on the 2.5-acre property will retain its historic character and have landscaped setbacks. He says the plans will ensure the preservation of the landmark house, designed by prominent South Florida architect John Volk, whose clients also included the Vanderbilts, Duponts and Pulitzers.

Fox, who died at 80 in 1964, created a popular cartoon strip called Toonersville Folks that ran in hundreds of U.S. newspapers from 1913 to 1955.

— Cheryl Blackerby
and Rich Pollack


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Candidates for Delray Beach mayor and commissioner are scheduled to discuss issues important to Delray Beach and how they relate to the city’s commitment to environmental responsiblity at a forum scheduled for March 4 at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church at 188 S. Swinton Ave. The 6:30 p.m. forum is free and open to the  public. 

The “Red, White and Green” event is  sponsored by the grass roots group Delray Beach Green. 

— Staff report


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Municipal elections will be held in a number of towns and cities in Palm Beach County on March 12. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.  Town or city clerks can provide answers to any election-related questions.

Briny Breezes

There is no election in Briny Breezes, where three incumbents — Mayor Roger Bennett and Aldermen Sue Thaler and Karen Wiggins — are unopposed. Bennett will serve a one-year term and Thaler and Wiggins, who had both been appointed to fill unexpired terms, will serve two-year terms. 

Gulf Stream

There will not be a municipal election in the town of Gulf Stream, where Tom Stanley and Robert Ganger are unopposed to complete the three-year terms to which they were recently appointed and which expire next year. 


Although three commission candidates and one mayoral candidate were elected without opposition, residents will be going to the polls on March 12 to vote on an amendment to the town charter. If approved, the amendment would limit elected officials to serving a maximum of three consecutive two-year terms in one office and four consecutive two-year terms in a combination of commissioner and mayor. Currently there are no term limits. The limits, if approved, would apply retroactively to all sitting elected officials.

Elected without opposition were: David Cheifetz, mayor; Peter Isaac, Seat 1; Chauncey Johnston, Seat 3; and Tom Thornton, Seat 5.

Ocean Ridge

There will not be an election in Ocean Ridge. Incumbent Dr. Lynn Allison ran unopposed and will serve a three-year term on the Town Commission.

South Palm Beach

Three incumbents ran unopposed in the town of South Palm Beach, eliminating the need for an election. Mayor Donald Clayman and council members Bonnie Fischer and Joseph Flagello will each serve two-year terms.

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Election Results: Shelley Petrolia - 3,324| Kurt Lehmann - 1,570 | Alexander Christopher - 1,0497960429654?profile=original

Kurt Lehmann
39,: Real estate broker, owns Lehmann Realty Inc.

Political experience: No elective office. Serves on city and community boards.

Position on issues:  City needs to welcome new businesses and help existing businesses grow and flourish. Says city must keep residents safe and protect our most vulnerable. Community development must be planned strategically. Supports laws that establish strict regulatory standards for transient housing and sober houses.

Quote: “I love Delray Beach. I want to do my part to ensure that our success continues so future generations can enjoy the Delray that I cherish.”


Shelley Petrolia
  49, married, four children, college degree in business.

Professional: Realtor

Political experience: No elective office.

Position on issues: City must end no-bid contracts and use a common sense approach to get its fiscal house in order. Wants to attract large companies to West Atlantic Avenue and Congress Avenue to create jobs. City must scrutinize development projects to be compatible to city’s character. Promises to work for the citizens, not special interests.

Quote: “I am focused on economic development and jobs. I will end no-bid contracts, regulate development and protect our special character and values.” 


Alexander Christopher
52, married, two children, some college.

Professional: Real estate investor.

Political experience: No elective office.

Position on issues: Our neighborhoods must be safer. The city needs economic development to create more jobs. Programs must be implemented to promote small businesses and welcome investors into the city. The city needs programs to help homeowners save their homes from foreclosure.

Quote: “It is the duty of every citizen according to his best capacities to give validity to his convictions in political affairs.”

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Delray Beach: Two candidates for mayor

Election Results: Cary Glickstein - 3,180 | Tom Carney - 2,926

On Nov. 12, voters will elect a mayor and one commissioner for two-year terms. Commissioner Adam Frankel was automatically re-elected when his opponent dropped out of the race.

7960430673?profile=originalTom Carney

Personal: 59, married, two children, college and law degrees.

Professional: Attorney, co-founder of Carney Bank, former tax counsel for U.S. House Ways and Means Committee.

Political experience: Served on Community Redevelopment Agency. City commissioner since 2011, mayor since January.

Position on issues: Wants a state law to regulate transient housing after he drafted a city transient housing law last year. Encouraged the commission to sign a beach renourishment contract last November. Says the commission must manage development so it doesn’t jeopardize the city’s character. Pledges to deliver services more efficiently to save money. Opposes no-bid contracts. Wants economic development on Congress Avenue, Federal Highway and West Atlantic Avenue.

Quote:  “I bring the experience to help manage our growth, address important neighborhood issues and continue the quality of life that residents expect in our wonderful Village by the Sea.”


Cary Glickstein
53, divorced, three children, college and law degrees.

Professional: Attorney and homebuilder. 

Political experience: No elective office. Served on Planning and Zoning Board.

Position on issues: Says the city is suffering a leadership deficit. Promises to restore open and honest government and to oppose no-bid garbage contracts and giveaways to “buddies” that cost millions of tax dollars. Pledges to fight for sustainable solutions that preserve the city’s character and quality of life, including fundamental changes to public safety and the threat posed by transient housing. Wants to improve schools to help drive the economy.

Quote: “I am running because I am deeply concerned about our town’s direction. We are at a pivotal crossroad and we can do much better.” 

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Election Results

Question One: Yes - 5,307, No - 460

Question Two: Yes - 3,784, No - 1,994

Question Three: Yes - 3,344, No - 2,385

Question Four: Yes - 4,264, No - 1,459

Question Five: Yes - 3,650, No - 2,058

Question Six: Yes - 3,388, No - 2,199

Delray Beach voters will decide March 12 whether to increase the term of city commissioners and give tax breaks to encourage economic development. 

The term question is the most significant of four proposed changes to the city charter on the ballot.

Commissioners now serve two-year terms. The change would extend the term of office to three years if approved. The maximum of six years that a commissioner can serve would be unchanged.

Another change provides that the time that a person serves as commissioner would not count against the six years that a mayor is allowed to serve, if that person assumes the mayor’s job directly after their time as a commissioner.

Voters also will be asked whether to remove charter language that prohibits a reduction in the city manager’s salary.

The economic development proposal would allow the City Commission to grant property tax exemptions to new and existing businesses that create new full-time employment opportunities in the city.

—  Tim Pallesen


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By Margie Plunkett

Ocean Ridge has started investigating the costs and concepts of creating a commercial zone at the town’s south end with an eye toward making recommendations to the Planning and Zoning Commission.

Commissioners agreed that Town Manager Ken Schenck should contact planning firm Urban Design Kilday Studios, which previously did work for Ocean Ridge, to talk about potential costs to create such a commercial zone. 

Former Mayor Ken Kaleel, who spoke as a member of the public at the commission’s Feb. 4 meeting, said he was at the planning and zoning meeting when the issue of a commercial zone came up. “I kind of pushed it back to the commission,” he said.

In May, commissioners sent the question of whether Ocean Ridge should abandon its 1969 ban on commercial properties to the Planning and Zoning Commission for consideration. At the same time, they agreed to allow the owners of 5011 N. Ocean Blvd., which is home to several commercial ventures, an extension of a year before they must convert to residential.

Orlando and Liliane Sivitilli had sued to block enforcement of the commercial ban and signed an agreement in 2003 that they would convert the property in 10 years — but wanted to extend because of the real estate slump. Their tenants include Commissioner Gail Adams Aaskov’s real estate office and The Coastal Star. Four apartments are on the second floor.

Commission may want to “talk to a couple of firms to get a rough idea what it would cost to have a land planning firm look at that entire part of town to develop some recommendations for the commission for planning and zoning to consider,” town attorney Ken Spillias said in recommending the move to commission at the February meeting.

Kaleel also pushed commissioners to get a professional planner, “because you have to define what you want to do — you set the policy,” he said. Commissioners must decide what to do about not only the 5011 property, but also the surrounding community.

A professional planner can also help commissioners determine what they want to do now and in the future. “Determine what you want to see happen in the next 10, 15, 20 years and plan forward,” Kaleel said. “Then, bring it back to planning and zoning. Let them examine those recommendations. Let them decipher what’s going on, reject it, then bring it back for whatever policy you want to make.”

If the commission were just considering keeping 5011 commercial, “you can do it,” Kaleel said. “That was my point to P&Z: Don’t pass the buck. If you want to turn it to commercial, make your decision.”                                 Ú

— Mary Kate Leming contributed to this story


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Election Results

Question: Yes - 52, No - 14

By Tim O’Meilia

There’s a revolution on the Manalapan Town Commission.

The mayor and three commissioners are out. Three new commissioners and a familiar face as mayor are in. All without a shot being fired or a ballot being cast. 

To be accurate, there’s something to vote on in Manalapan on March 12. Voters, what few who might go to the poll, will decide whether three terms in office (four, if you want to be mayor as well) are enough. 

But voters won’t be choosing the three new faces and one current commissioner-as-mayor.

Pay close attention: Two commissioners are not seeking re-election. Neither is the mayor. Another commissioner signed up for the mayoral post, leaving his seat open. Three other candidates signed up for the three vacant seats. No one else was interested.

Maybe it was the four-hour meetings. Or the long-winded discussions over police protection at the Boynton Inlet or along the oceanfront. Or whether the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office should take over police protection in town. Or whether oceanfront residents (who pay more taxes) should be given more muscle in town affairs. 

Maybe it was something else. 

“Originally, I said I wanted to run for one term because I had already been on the commission for six years,” said retiring Mayor Basil Diamond, who was re-appointed to the commission in 2010 and ran successfully for mayor in 2011. “I’m a believer in having turnover to the extent that we have people to run.”

Manalapan had just enough.

Chauncey Johnstone replaces two-plus year Commissioner Donald Brennan as a representative of oceanfront residents. Six-year commissioner Tom Thornton replaces Bill Quigley as a Point Manalapan commissioner. Commissioner David Cheifetz decided against seeking his at-large seat in order to replace Diamond as mayor. Planning Commission member Peter Isaac stepped up to replace Cheifetz.

Brennan hinted that he might not seek re-election, noting that some oceanfront residents were discouraged over safety issues along the beachfront.

“My main focus is for everyone to realize that Manalapan point and Manalapan island affect one another,” said Johnstone, who lives in La Coquille Villas. His family owned a home on the point for several decades. 

Johnstone said he would not have run if Brennan had decided to return. “About a month ago, several people asked me about running. I thought I might if Mr. Brennan did not run.”

Quigley, who served from 1999 to 2004, said he returned two years ago to help calm conflict on the commission. “We kept the Police Department local, stepped up patrols and I think we have an excellent staff,” he said.

He said he decided to leave the council because others were interested in running. 

Thornton said he thinks he can lend experience to a commission with three members in their first term. “We had some pretty experienced people and now, all of a sudden, you have them leaving and all new people replacing them,” he said.

He said he is happy with the town administration. “Maybe we’ll all calm down,” he said of recent discussions about the town manager and police chief. 

The new commission must deal with two major issues: seawall protection and a multimillion-dollar water distribution system upgrade. 

“It’s not just our problem,” Diamond said of measures the town may consider to ensure that seawalls are reinforced and maintained. “It’s a nationwide issue all along the coast.”

Diamond said new faces bring fresh outlooks to town concerns, but finding interested residents is difficult.

“People don’t move to Manalapan to run for office,” he said with a laugh. “We try to encourage them to serve on ARCOM or the planning board and then to get on the Town Commission.”                           Ú

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By Tim O’Meilia and 

Mary Thurwachter

The town of Lantana has agreed to pay the cost of working around water and sewer lines discovered on the east side of the Intracoastal Waterway where the East Ocean Avenue bridge is being rebuilt.

The discussion over whether the town or Palm Beach County, which is building the $32 million replacement bridge, should pay has not stopped or delayed construction, both county and town officials said.

At its Feb. 25 meeting, the Lantana Town Council agreed to pay $50,026, about $7,000 less than the county asked for originally but what the town estimated to be a more accurate assessment of costs.

Lantana Town Manager Deborah Manzo said the town earlier had asked for additional information from the county to determine whether the extra costs were the town’s responsibility. 

“They provided us with the information that the conflicts (in construction) were our responsibility,” she said. “They will invoice it. We will pay it.” 

But Mayor Dave Stewart and other members of the council expressed their frustration with the county and its general contractor for all the additional charges.

“Since 2003 (when the bridge was proposed), we have done everything they’ve asked us to do,” Stewart said. “We’ve saved them a lot of money.” The town, for example, allowed the contractor to do staging a couple months early and to take over Sportsman Park for the staging. 

Last month, the town was told by the county it needed to replace a buoy marking a utility line under the bridge. The buoy was likely clipped by a boat propeller, Manzo said. To avoid replacement costs of several thousands of dollars, divers from the town’s Police Department did the work themselves.

The town says it is owed about $10,000 in police overtime from the county for work done to re-route traffic during bridge construction. On Feb. 25, the council voted to pursue recouping those funds. Town attorney Max Lohman and Manzo plan to meet with county officials again to iron out differences.

“We need to get all three parties (town, county and general contractor) in the room, this time with attorneys there,” Lohman said. “We are wrestling with final dollar amounts.”

At its March 11 meeting, Lantana will also discuss the noise variance it had granted in January so that workers could more easily meet their construction deadlines. As part of that agreement, the contractor agreed to complete all pile driving no later than Jan. 25. 

“It (pile driving) continued well into February,” said Stewart, who lives near the bridge and kept track of the noise. “They are in violation (of the agreement).”

The new bridge will be 11 feet higher than its 62-year-old predecessor, requiring 40 percent fewer bridge openings for boats. Extra width will allow for additional bicycle and pedestrian lanes as well.

The old bridge closed in March 2012 and the new bridge is scheduled to open in November. Assistant County Engineer Tanya McConnell said the work by a Miami construction firm is on schedule.                                   Ú

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