Mary Kate Leming's Blog (4,125)

Boynton budget woes vex city officials

BOYNTON BEACH — The city faces a budget shortfall of $10.5 million to $16 million, and there’s no easy fix, city commissioners were warned at their March 17 meeting.

“That's a reduction of 15 to 22 percent," said Barry Atwood, the city’s finance director. “I fear it’s going to be toward that higher amount, if not higher, and that’s too much money to come from one area.”

Instead, the city needs to find ways to increase its revenue while reducing expenses, he told… Continue

Added by Mary Kate Leming on April 5, 2009 at 3:30pm — No Comments

A subdued McCarty pleads guilty

By Thomas R. Collins

WEST PALM BEACH — Mary McCarty, who for 18 years represented the southern coastal area on the Palm Beach County Commission dais, has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit honest services fraud.

With sentencing set for June 4, the former commissioner is facing a federal prison term that could last five years.

The once-verbose politician said very little, wearing a more muted outfit than her… Continue

Added by Mary Kate Leming on April 5, 2009 at 3:30pm — No Comments

Delray Beach weighs changes to historic district

The Delray Beach City Commission moved closer in March to changing the name of the Nassau Street Historic District, adding properties to the district and expanding its period of significance.

A resurvey report before the commission recommended correcting the name to the Nassau Park Historic District and expanding its historic period of significance to 1935-1964 from the previous 1935-1943. Five properties would be added to the district, which includes lots on Nassau Street between… Continue

Added by Mary Kate Leming on April 5, 2009 at 3:27pm — No Comments

Investigation finds little amiss, advises new procedure: Delray Beach

An independent investigation has concluded that Delray Beach did not substantively violate laws or city policies while it worked with bond issue underwriting companies that employed Kevin McCarty, husband of former County Commissioner Mary McCarty.

Law firm Brown, Garganese, Weiss & D’Agresta, P.A. was hired to conduct the probe after the McCartys were charged with violating honest-services law, said the report submitted March 23 by attorney Usher L. Brown.

The city… Continue

Added by Mary Kate Leming on April 5, 2009 at 3:25pm — No Comments

Atlantic Plaza II garners site board approval: Delray Beach

By Florence Kizza

DELRAY BEACH — Atlantic Plaza II was the main topic of discussion at the Delray Beach Site Plan Review and Appearance Board’s March 11 meeting.

The mixed-use complex, planned for nine acres at Atlantic Avenue and Federal Highway, includes retail, office space and living units. But the six-building project has generated controversy.

While most of the 40 or so Delray residents at the meeting seemed to be on board with the project, not… Continue

Added by Mary Kate Leming on April 5, 2009 at 3:22pm — No Comments

Rabbi at forefront of faith, ethnic dialogue

By C.B. Hanif

South Florida’s winter weather draws many northerners, but Rabbi Marc Schneier of New York has an even better reason to visit: His mother, Donna Schneier Goldberg, and her husband, Leonard, live in Manalapan.

On a recent sunny Sunday afternoon, their waterfront home hosted the Alpert Jewish Family & Children's Service’s inaugural Chai Society meeting for its major donors. So what better guest speaker for thanking supporters of the nationally accredited… Continue

Added by Mary Kate Leming on April 5, 2009 at 3:17pm — No Comments

St. Vincent's tuition increase not tied to scandal: Delray Beach

By Cynthia Thuma

The criminal cases against former St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic Church priests Francis Guinan, 66, and John Skehan, 82, are now completed and the Diocese of Palm Beach has begun trying to separate fact from rumor in issues related and unrelated to the criminal cases.

The diocese stripped the two of their priestly powers and both were sentenced to prison — 14 months for Skehan and four years for Guinan after they were found guilty of skimming hundreds of… Continue

Added by Mary Kate Leming on April 5, 2009 at 3:00pm — No Comments

Former St. Vincent's priests receive prison terms: Delray Beach

By Tim O’Meilia

The titillating tale of two revered Roman Catholic pastors who skimmed hundreds of thousands of dollars from Sunday collection plates at a Delray Beach church and spent it on gambling trips, vacations in the Bahamas and airline tickets for female companions will end in prison for both men.

Already stripped of their Roman collars and their priestly powers, the two stood before separate judges last week — one already in jailhouse garb and the other in gray… Continue

Added by Mary Kate Leming on April 5, 2009 at 2:58pm — No Comments

Cities and towns act on green initiatives: Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Lantana, Briny Breezes, Gulf Stream, Ocean Ridge, Manalapan

By Margie Plunkett

As Earth Day 2009 draws near, municipalities in this 10-mile stretch of beach are measuring carbon emissions, landscaping with eco-efficient plants, replacing gas guzzlers with plug-ins and exploring solar and wind power sources.

Coastal cities are taking a range of approaches to environmental initiatives, from performing basic recycling to establishing green alliances and promoting them on

Not surprisingly, the bigger… Continue

Added by Mary Kate Leming on April 5, 2009 at 2:51pm — No Comments

Manalapan looks into iguana options

Manalapan will live with iguanas a little while longer, since commissioners delayed action at their March 24 meeting to allow more time to explore options for getting rid of the reptiles. Town Manager Gregory Dunham told commissioners, who at February’s meeting had declared iguanas a town nuisance, that he wanted to continue to investigate. The quotes in hand, he said, ranged from someone without the required credentials to an annual service with a… Continue

Added by Mary Kate Leming on April 4, 2009 at 8:30pm — No Comments

These girls fought town hall — and won: Manalapan

By Linda Haase

When sisters Savanah, 11, Cassady, 8, and Amanda, 6, started ManalaPet Sitters, they anticipated being nipped by a zealous cat or beaked by a bird.

But the Manalapan residents never imagined their entrepreneurial venture would end before the dog days of summer began. However, as they and their mom, Gina Hyland, put flyers and business cards on residents’ doors in Manalapan and Hypoluxo Island Feb. 7, a police… Continue

Added by Mary Kate Leming on April 4, 2009 at 8:30pm — No Comments

Gulf Stream sends message with half payment to FPL

GULF STREAM — Town commissioners backed a consortium’s efforts to push Florida Power & Light to bury power lines, but voted to “send a message” to the group by only paying half of a required contribution.

Commissioners voiced concern at their meeting on March 13 that Gulf Stream’s payment is disproportionate to other members’ payments to the Municipal Underground Utilities Consortium, a group of Florida municipalities. Gulf Stream will send about $770 instead of the $1,543… Continue

Added by Mary Kate Leming on April 4, 2009 at 8:26pm — No Comments

Marking a love of history and the shore - A Coastal Star: Delray Beach

A Coastal Star

Robert Hudson Neff’s first ocean/coastal experience was a car trip to Florida in 1920 when he was a small boy. That trip to Miami from Ohio with his parents and two older brothers took nine days. The family camped along the way. Upon their arrival his mother recorded their experiences in a journal — and sought medical treatment for a bad case of mosquito bites!

The family spent about a year in Miami. Neff never… Continue

Added by Mary Kate Leming on April 4, 2009 at 8:00pm — No Comments

From crinoline to denim, Gulfstream Polo crowd stays true

By Angie Francalancia

They dressed in their best in those earliest days, wearing furs and other finery to watch the game’s greatest players in what they called the gentlemen’s sport.

The origins of Gulfstream Polo are inextricably woven within the lives of the socialites and capitalists who made the southern Palm Beach County barrier island their home in the 1920s.

Originally, the polo ground was known only as Phipps Fields, and that in itself set the scene for… Continue

Added by Mary Kate Leming on April 4, 2009 at 7:29pm — No Comments

Rituals of Spring

Spring brings back memories of childhood, many of them cloudy now, but beautiful — like beach glass. One in particular returns this time of year: May Day, or as I think of it, Aunt Mae Day.

Under giant Midwest trees, I can still visualize a white house, low to the ground, with a wraparound porch and an aluminum glider. I recall the paint was pealing a bit and curtains on the window were almost always drawn. I don’t think I ever knew much about the small, white-haired woman who lived… Continue

Added by Mary Kate Leming on April 4, 2009 at 7:15pm — No Comments

Coastal communities should find better alternatives to dredging

By Brett Fitzgerald

On March 2, Judge Robert E. Meale ruled against the town of Palm Beach and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, recommending denial of a permit for a large dredge-and-fill project at the south end of Palm Beach (Reach 8). If the ruling stands, it will undoubtedly affect other such projects on Florida’s coastal islands, and represent the first time any such project will have been stopped.

I applaud the judge’s ruling. It is a wake-up call… Continue

Added by Mary Kate Leming on April 4, 2009 at 7:13pm — No Comments

County to begin work on sand transfer plant: Boynton Inlet

By Margie Plunkett

Construction on a new sand transfer plant at South Lake Worth Inlet — also known as the Boynton Inlet — will begin in April. Work won’t interfere with boaters or beachgoers, but could at times displace people fishing on the jetties and limit parking in the north lot.

The sand transfer plant, jetties and the seawall around Bird Island are being reconstructed in a $7 million project that’s expected to last through November and beyond. The plan to renovate… Continue

Added by Mary Kate Leming on April 4, 2009 at 7:00pm — No Comments

Bad dog? More likely, that Marley of yours is just poorly trained

Paws Up for Pets!

by Arden Moore

Marley…and me. Yes, I had the joy – and frustration – of knowing the real Marley. That goofy, rambunctious Labrador retriever made famous in the bestseller penned by his owner, John Grogan and on the big screen in a movie headlined by Jennifer Aniston, Owen Wilson and a pack of Marley lookalikes.

For nine years, John and I worked in the Delray Beach newsroom of The Sun-Sentinel. He amused and… Continue

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

10 Ways to Entertain Spring Breakers

By Mary Thurwachter

The grandkids are visiting and how you love them. But they can only hang out at the beach or in the pool so long before becoming restless and sunburned. Send them off on their own, if they’re old enough, or tag along and have some fun yourself. Here are 10 ways to entertain your Spring Breakers.

1. Pedal around Palm Beach: Oil baron Henry Flagler built the Lake Trail so his hotel guests would have a place for strolling. It’s still a fine place for… Continue

Added by Mary Kate Leming on March 11, 2009 at 4:56pm — No Comments

Change could remove ‘management’ from growth management

By Robert W. Ganger

Readers of The Coastal Star may be unaware that a bill is percolating through the Florida Legislature that would “streamline” the state’s Growth Management Act — the rulebook by which the Department of Community Affairs has guided growth and development in our state since 1985.

Who is backing the bill?

The bill’s major legislative sponsor is a developer/contractor. In fairness, he and his professional colleagues may view the Growth Management Act… Continue

Added by Mary Kate Leming on March 5, 2009 at 6:30pm — No Comments

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