Mary Kate Leming's Blog (4,224)

Delray Beach: Changes to U.S. 1 and Atlantic given approval

By Margie Plunkett

Delray Beach commissioners gave staff the go-ahead on permanent design changes to U.S. 1 at Atlantic Avenue, an $11 million project that reduces the highway to two lanes from three in each direction for better traffic and pedestrian safety. The design, which has already been implemented temporarily between SE 10th Street and George Bush Boulevard, would be funded with state and federal money if all requests come through, City Engineer Randal L. Krejcarek told… Continue

Added by Mary Kate Leming on May 29, 2009 at 3:20pm — No Comments

Delray Staff: Bond sales should follow guidelines

Delray Beach city staff propose the city follow best practices set by the Government Finance Officers Association for selling bonds and selecting bond personnel, as set forth in a memo by Delray’s finance director, Joseph Safford.

The recommendations follow the indictment of former County Commissioner Mary McCarty, which raised questions on some Delray Beach bond issue practices. Larry Brown of Brown, Garganese, Weiss & D’Agresta, P.A., was hired to conduct an independent review.… Continue

Added by Mary Kate Leming on May 29, 2009 at 3:19pm — No Comments

Editor's Notes

Thank you to George Weide of Boynton Beach, who wrote to suggest we check with the City of Boynton Beach about the installation date of the current boardwalk in Oceanfront Park. As a regular beach visitor during the 1990s, he suggested the city might have given us the wrong date. He was right. We checked back with the city and learned that the current recycled plastic boardwalk was installed in 1994, not in 1986, as we published in our last edition.

Thank you to Stacey… Continue

Added by Mary Kate Leming on May 29, 2009 at 3:00pm — No Comments

Our affluent coast a shimmering beacon to islands’ most desperate

Like a vanished handprint that reappears when condensation coats a windowpane, foggy mornings on the beach recall for me the wave of Cuban rafters in the summer of 1994.

I can still see a tiny raft aslant on the beach, shreds of a handmade sail hanging limply in the fading shadows just before daybreak. Handmade oars lying beside a damp notebook streaked with ink and what had once been handwritten Spanish words. Final thoughts for a loved one? Directions to a relative’s place in… Continue

Added by Mary Kate Leming on May 29, 2009 at 2:57pm — No Comments

A Coastal Star — James A. Bonfiglio: Ocean Ridge

Jim Bonfiglio is an attorney known for using his skills to serve the community. Bonfiglio specializes in defending mortgage foreclosure actions. As one of a small number of attorneys in the country who are expert in the Federal Truth in Lending Act, he has received numerous awards for his work, including the Legal Aid Society’s 2008 Pro Bono Consumer Law Award.

Jim is also one of the initial inductees in the Palm Beach County Legal Aid Society’s… Continue

Added by Mary Kate Leming on May 29, 2009 at 2:53pm — No Comments

Pharmacy’s father found formula for success

By Emily J. Minor

In the days of scattered families — one kid in Boston, another in Seattle, the aging parents retired to Arizona — these people are downright odd.

“They all came back,” says the patriarch, Bill Strucker.

“I think they missed their mother.”


But there is something else that has drawn all three of Strucker’s daughters home again, back to this place along the ocean with the ringing telephone and the… Continue

Added by Mary Kate Leming on May 29, 2009 at 2:00pm — No Comments

Delray Beach: Economy stalls redevelopment progress

U.S. 1 (First in an occasional series)

By Thomas B. Collins

DELRAY BEACH — Aaah, the sights, the sounds, the smells. The chatting coffee-sippers at an outside table. A delicious Asian fusion scent tempting you from a fine restaurant. Rollicking music coaxing you from a bar and grill.

On Federal Highway at Atlantic Avenue, the good times always seem to roll. A few blocks up the road, though, you might as well be in another… Continue

Added by Mary Kate Leming on May 29, 2009 at 2:00pm — No Comments

Turtle tips and turtle walks

How you can help protect sea turtles

Avoid visiting sea turtle nesting beaches at night, unless accompanied by a guide permitted by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Do not disturb or handle sea turtles, their eggs or their nests. All are violations of both federal and state laws.

Report all dead, injured or stranded turtles and hatchlings, or anyone harassing/molesting sea turtles or their nests, to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation… Continue

Added by Mary Kate Leming on May 29, 2009 at 1:40pm — No Comments

Know your local sea turtles


Florida's most common sea turtle, the loggerhead is named for its large head. It grows to a length of 3 feet, can weigh 200 to 250 pounds, and is a threatened species.

The loggerhead nests from April to September.


Named for its smooth and rubbery shell, the leatherback weighs between 700 and 1,500 pounds and nests from March through July.… Continue

Added by Mary Kate Leming on May 29, 2009 at 1:34pm — No Comments

INTERFAITH21: Some events live up to interfaith billing

By C.B. Hanif

How prayer would manifest in a municipal setting was my question when I learned that Delray Beach would host a National Day of Prayer observance in front of City Hall. The event, celebrated nationwide on the first Thursday each May, was established by Congress to encourage Americans to pray for our nation, its people and its leaders.

Delray’s announcement of two “interdenominational” public prayer events resonated with… Continue

Added by Mary Kate Leming on May 29, 2009 at 8:30am — No Comments

Improving the odds for sea turtles: A labor of love

Watch a slideshow of experts and volunteers on their morning patrol

By Ron Hayes

Bright and early Mother’s Day morning, Joan Lorne climbed aboard an ATV and tore down Gulf Stream beach on a rescue mission for countless mothers who will never know how many of their children’s lives she saved.

Turtles are mothers, too, after all.

Loggerheads and leatherbacks,… Continue

Added by Mary Kate Leming on May 29, 2009 at 7:30am — No Comments

Manalapan residents must pay for their own iguana removal

MANALAPAN – Town Commissions won’t fund efforts to rid neighborhoods of iguanas, but are compiling a list of licensed contractors residents can call to perform removal services.

An annual town contract would cost $12,000 to $13,000 and would necessitate giving the contractor access to all Manalapan properties, according to Town Manager Gregory Dunham. But he questioned using town funds for iguana eradication.

Individual calls for iguana control can run about $250 to $325,… Continue

Added by Mary Kate Leming on May 28, 2009 at 10:44am — No Comments

Debate continues on who pays for no-see-um control: Ocean Ridge

By Margie Plunkett

What’s more painful than nasty no-see-um bites? The question of who should pay to get rid of the pest — the town or property owner.

“All of you have beautiful homes and have moved to a beautiful area — and are upset by the bug problems. You moved to the nuisance,” resident Marrett Hanna said at a May Town Commission meeting. “It’s ridiculous and utterly elitist to think you can go to the town when you can pay for it yourself.”

The question of who pays… Continue

Added by Mary Kate Leming on May 28, 2009 at 7:42am — No Comments

Fire station staffing will depend on new property appraisals: Gulf Stream, Delray Beach

Delray Beach Commissioners will determine if they can fully staff Fire Station No. 2 this fiscal year after reviewing county Property Appraiser’s figures, due in on June 1, Mayor McDuffie said at a special commissioners meeting in May. The Commissioners won’t reveal until then how much Gulf Stream would pay for fire services under a new contract.

The meeting was held after a temporary staffing change at Fire Station No. 2, which serves the coastal area including Gulf Stream, transferring… Continue

Added by Mary Kate Leming on May 27, 2009 at 9:00pm — No Comments

Compromise for bigger beach houses set at 750 sq. ft.: Manalapan

By Margie Plunkett

Residents can build bigger beach houses in Manalapan as a result of the wide-ranging zoning ordinance the Town Commission passed on second reading in May.

After extensive discussion over several meetings, the commission decided to compromise on a 750 square foot building, raising the square footage of a beach home from a previous limit of 500 square feet, but not going as far as the proposed 1,000 square feet.

The beach house debate brought in… Continue

Added by Mary Kate Leming on May 27, 2009 at 9:00pm — No Comments

It’s hurricane season. Be ready when warning is issued

By Mary Thurwachter

Those of us who live on barrier islands are vulnerable to the storm surges hurricanes bring. Which means, when a hurricane warning is issued, it’s time to skedaddle.

“We go by the state of Florida guidelines,” says Diane Spears, park manager in Briny Breezes. “The first to go are people in mobile home courts and people on barrier islands —and that’s us!”

Regardless of what kind of building you live in, islanders are subject to evacuations as… Continue

Added by Mary Kate Leming on May 27, 2009 at 9:00pm — No Comments

Intracoastal mangroves to be protected by breakwaters: Ocean Ridge, Delray Beach

By Mike Readling

After years of watching the thick mangrove shoreline along the Intracoastal Waterway in Boynton Beach become thinner and host to substantially fewer mangroves, Palm Beach County’s Environmental Resource Management department has taken action.

ERM recently began installing breakwaters just north of the Ocean Avenue Bridge, in the area of Two Georges restaurant.

The construction of the riprap breakwaters is a move… Continue

Added by Mary Kate Leming on May 27, 2009 at 9:00pm — No Comments

Summer Camp Guide Sampler, Take 2

NOTE: Here is an updated summer camps schedule, with additional listings. With so many summer camps offered in our area, we selected those located between the Boca Raton Inlet and the Port of Palm Beach. We kept most of our listings east of I-95. Please check directly with camps for registration and/or schedule changes.


American Heritage School Summer Day Camp: 6200 Linton Blvd., Delray Beach. Ages 3-13. Sports and musical theater academies. Four… Continue

Added by Mary Kate Leming on May 6, 2009 at 8:26am — No Comments

Learning to slow down

I drive fast. Not too fast — I don’t get tickets. But I do push the limits.

I commuted to West Palm Beach on A1A for many years, and consider myself lucky that my job required only a couple years of I-95 commuting — to Hollywood and Miami Beach.

Now I travel closer to home, and often on foot or bicycle.

Traffic on A1A feels very different to a body not ensconced within an air-conditioned space secured behind heavy metal doors. I notice now when cars whiz by or when large vehicles… Continue

Added by Mary Kate Leming on May 1, 2009 at 7:03pm — No Comments

Meet Your Neighbor— 10 Questions with Mary Katharine: Gulf Stream

In 2002, newly divorced and with five daughters, Mary Katharine “took the high way,” so to speak, giving a whole new meaning to the phrase, “You go, girl.”

She could have started therapy, she said, thinking back, but instead, she chose to become a race-car driver. “In a car, on a racetrack, you can’t think of anything else.”

Within a year, she had her racing license and in 2006 she turned professional, racing a Mazda Protégé in the Speed World Challenge… Continue

Added by Mary Kate Leming on May 1, 2009 at 6:30pm — No Comments

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