The Coastal Star

Mary Kate Leming's Blog (4,059)

Boynton Woman's Club celebrates centennial

By Ron Hayes

BOYNTON BEACH — On a winter's day in 1909, the Norwegian sailing ship Coquimbo ran aground on the coral reef off Boynton Beach, and refused to budge.

But come May, the spring storms at last accomplished what a steam-powered tug from Key West had failed to do. The ship's hull cracked, and a cargo of longleaf pine lumber washed ashore — and became the first Boynton Woman's Club.

The lumber, once bound for Europe, was used to build the fledgling civic… Continue

Added by Mary Kate Leming on January 4, 2009 at 6:47pm — No Comments

Some give a ‘wild thought’ or two to Boynton’s future

By Hector Florin

BOYNTON BEACH — Executives of a company responsible for one of the city’s largest developments have recently held discussions with city leaders to offer ideas for the future location of government buildings and downtown redevelopment.

Mayor Jerry Taylor and City Manager Kurt Bressner met with the developers before the Dec. 16 City Commission meeting. At the meeting, Taylor brought up the subject of a company’s having an interest in finding a new location… Continue

Added by Mary Kate Leming on January 4, 2009 at 6:44pm — No Comments

Beach house size debated: Manalapan

By Antigone Barton

MANALAPAN — When is a beach house a house on the beach?

Is a kitchen the difference between a cabana and a home?

Perhaps size really does matter, if, as one zoning commissioner asserted, “anything larger than 1,000 square feet is a house.”

Until those are decided, the difference between a dwelling and a well-equipped changing room may be as subtle as the inflection with which zoning commissioners at their December meeting said… Continue

Added by Mary Kate Leming on January 4, 2009 at 6:32pm — No Comments

Preserve America: Delray Beach

Delray Beach was recently honored when first lady Laura Bush, honorary chair of the Preserve America initiative, designated the city as one of the nation’s newest Preserve America Communities. Delray Beach is the first community in Palm Beach County to receive this designation.

Delray’s collaboration with the Delray Beach Historical Society on the Ethel Sterling Williams History Learning Center Project (also known as the Hunt House), qualified Delray Beach for this… Continue

Added by Mary Kate Leming on January 4, 2009 at 6:30pm — No Comments

A Coastal Star: Ocean Ridge

Ocean Ridge resident Cindy Martel is the founder and organizer of the Race for Faith 5K Run & Walk. All of the profits from the race go to local charities. The first two years, the proceeds went to help the inner city kids of West Palm Beach and for the last three years, the proceeds have gone to First Priority, an organization that helps kids on public high school campuses gather to celebrate their faith.

Now in its sixth year, the race started with about 100 runners. On its… Continue

Added by Mary Kate Leming on January 4, 2009 at 6:28pm — No Comments

Tiny whitefly has big impact on ficus hedges: Gulf Stream, Briny Breezes, Manalapan, Ocean Ridge, Palm Beach

By Antigone Barton

The little white fly that arrived about six months ago is so small that a magnifying glass is recommended to properly search for it.

But since its arrival, it has stripped away barriers between public and private property, cost scores of homeowners tens of thousands of dollars apiece, and done what neither drought or native plant enthusiasts could do — made people question the value of their ficus hedges.

The whitefly, which hails from Asia,… Continue

Added by Mary Kate Leming on January 1, 2009 at 3:30pm — No Comments

Exploring the bounty of local Green Markets: Lake Worth, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach

What’s not to love about fresh baked goods, vine-grown fruits and veggies, and fresh-cut flowers? And what could be better on a sunny, winter Saturday than strolling outdoors, searching booth-to-booth for the freshest foods for the busy week ahead? A weekend tour through our three nearby Green Markets showed each with its own personality and array of unique products. Here’s a quick guide. Enjoy!

Oceanside Farmer’s Market

Saturdays, 8 am - 1 pm

Lake Worth Beach (A1A… Continue

Added by Mary Kate Leming on December 9, 2008 at 5:25pm — No Comments


OCEAN RIDGE — When residents of the Ocean Ridge Yacht Club needed advice on insurance, Mickey Metras was the man to ask.

A retired insurance agent from South Hadley, Mass., Michael W. Metras died Nov. 1. He was 66, and had been a resident of the community for 11 years.

"He was just so generous with his time and helped us with all our insurance concerns," said Mya Breman, a friend and neighbor. "He saved us all a lot of money and was just a wonderful guy." In Massachusetts, where he… Continue

Added by Mary Kate Leming on December 9, 2008 at 5:13pm — No Comments

Russell ‘R.C.’ Croft: Delray Beach

By Ron Hayes

DELRAY BEACH — Russell “R.C.” Croft, who led the city’s Police Department for more than 30 years, died Nov. 14 in High Springs after a brief illness. He was 93.

“He drove until three weeks before his death,” said his son, Kenneth. “He was out of good stock.” Mr. Croft was also out of pioneer stock. His uncle, Will Croft, was appointed the town’s first marshal in 1911 and became its first police chief when the separate towns of Delray Beach and Delray were… Continue

Added by Mary Kate Leming on December 9, 2008 at 5:09pm — No Comments

Pioneers’ beach gift is dedicated: Delray Beach

By Ron Hayes

DELRAY BEACH — The land was worthless, after all.

No roads, no houses, impractical for farming.

Plagued by mosquitoes and cut off from the mainland.

Nothing but sand and bugs.

And so, in 1899, three women donated a mile of beachfront property to the public. Maybe they were civic minded. Maybe they just wanted to rid themselves of some desolate dunes. But on Oct. 29, about 75 people gathered on South Ocean Boulevard across from Bay Street to dedicate a… Continue

Added by Mary Kate Leming on December 9, 2008 at 5:00pm — No Comments

ALBERT C. EBERT: Manalapan

MANALAPAN — Albert C. Ebert's family have long told the story of his very first business venture.

With the Great Depression still gripping America, the 3-year-old entrepreneur used to dig up clumps of grass from the neighbors' lawns in his native Chicago, transport them to the next block in his wagon, and sell them.

A resident of Manalapan for 23 years, Mr. Ebert died Nov. 20. He was 76, and a man whose early knack for business only grew with time.

"He was a sharp businessman,"… Continue

Added by Mary Kate Leming on December 9, 2008 at 5:00pm — No Comments

Garden Club eyes fallow land for planting dune-friendly foliage: Ocean Ridge

By Antigone Barton

OCEAN RIDGE — The scruffy oceanfront patch of land near the town’s southern border stands as proof that one governing entity’s trash can be another’s treasure.

Left fallow by current owner Palm Beach County, the spot could serve as the model of a well-tended dune, according to town officials who in their October meeting voted to ask the county for the land.

The request came after the Ocean Ridge Garden Club indicated an interest in planting the land with… Continue

Added by Mary Kate Leming on December 9, 2008 at 4:20pm — No Comments

Mayor not seeking re-election: Delray Beach

By Hector Florin

Mayor Rita Ellis announced that she will not be seeking re-election in March, citing another round of reconstructive surgery to heal her right foot injured at a city event in April. Ellis was elected to the commission in 2005 and won the mayoral seat in 2007. "This has been a most humbling experience that I will cherish as long as I live," she said.

Added by Mary Kate Leming on December 9, 2008 at 4:02pm — No Comments

Red light cameras coming to Delray

Delray Beach commissioners agreed on Nov. 18 to install cameras at city traffic lights with the purpose of catching red-light runners. Penalties will cost drivers $125, but no points on a driver’s license. Neither the date nor the locations where the cameras will be installed has been set.

Added by Mary Kate Leming on December 9, 2008 at 3:55pm — No Comments

Delray Yacht Club to reopen

By Hector Florin

Commissioners agreed on Nov. 18 to allow the Delray Beach Yacht Club building to reopen. Closed in February 2006, the club’s location on MacFarlane Drive east of the Intracoastal Waterway has been eyed for redevelopment, which has since stalled.

Added by Mary Kate Leming on December 9, 2008 at 3:54pm — No Comments

McKinney agrees to move tree house: Delray Beach

By Hector Florin

The six-year saga over the tree house on the property of the historic Fontaine Fox home on North Ocean Boulevard might finally be over. Property owner and mansion builder Frank McKinney said he will move the tree house out of the Fox home’s sightline after city commissioners on Nov. 3 unanimously agreed the tree house didn’t conform to city guidelines. “We are going to concede the request to move the tree house,” McKinney said, and place it out of the way of the 1936… Continue

Added by Mary Kate Leming on December 9, 2008 at 3:52pm — No Comments

Delray Marriott expansion

By Hector Florin

The Delray Beach Marriott plans to expand its 271-room hotel with 36 additional suites in two new buildings, as well as add space for shops and a new kitchen for banquets, and expand its restaurant space and pool deck. City commissioners on Nov. 3 approved three development waivers associated with the revamp of the hotel on State Road A1A and East Atlantic Avenue. Two of the waivers allowed for visibility to be reduced for the exit and entrance ramp into the hotel’s… Continue

Added by Mary Kate Leming on December 9, 2008 at 3:51pm — No Comments

Lantana rushes to build seawall

By Antigone Barton

LANTANA — A precarious structure in front of a condominium to the north, a rush to build when supplies are scarce, and a drill-resisting bed of cement-like sand are among the challenges this town faces in building a wall to save its beach, an engineer told council members at the end of November.

Noting these challenges, and a million-dollar price tag for the wall, which is to be built under a permit granted to protect buildings fronting the beach, a resident… Continue

Added by Mary Kate Leming on December 9, 2008 at 3:41pm — No Comments

Historians of the ‘Halls’ have tales to tell: Ocean Ridge, Gulf Stream, Delray Beach, Briny Breezes, Manalapan, Lantana

By Ron Hayes

Sometimes there are towns before there are town halls.

Ocean Ridge was incorporated — as Boynton Beach — in 1931. But its first Town Hall wasn’t built until 1937.

As Gail Adams Aaskov recalls in The History of Ocean Ridge, the first town meeting was held on May 16, 1931, in a private home — one of 12 in the town at the time. And when Ocean Ridge finally built its own Town Hall in 1937, the building was only 10-by-10 feet — but it served the purpose until… Continue

Added by Mary Kate Leming on December 9, 2008 at 3:32pm — No Comments

A deadly hatching season so far along Ocean Ridge, Delray Beach

OCEAN RIDGE — The best beaches for people can be the most treacherous terrain for newly hatched turtles searching for the sea, environmental analysts say.

That is one explanation for preliminary data showing that 1,784 sea turtles hatched in Ocean Ridge this year wandered lost — falling to predators, dehydration or exhaustion before reaching the water.

Why? Among other reasons: no towering condos to block the disorienting glow lighting the sky from neighboring areas, as hatchlings… Continue

Added by Mary Kate Leming on December 9, 2008 at 3:30pm — No Comments

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