Tuesday, December 25, 2007

BOOKSTORE and ZED 451 RESTAURANT COMING TO MIZNER PARK

Expanding the former Museum of Cartoon Art, a 25,000 sq ft 2-level bookstore and Brazilian-style eatery will be opened within the year. The restaurant is described as a contemporary, internationally-inspired upscale steakhouse.

Monday, December 24, 2007

DELRAY BEACH CRAFT FAIR DEC 29 & 30

Head downtown to the Delray Beach Tennis Center on Atlantic and Swinton – free admission – and see the beautiful wares of more than 150 crafters, for sale. We all know that some of the best holiday buys are found AFTER the holiday. There will be jewelry, pottery, clothing and other innovative pieces. Fair will be open from 10 am to 5 pm.

Friday, December 14, 2007

MOST EXPENSIVE PALM BEACH COUNTY CONDO IN HIGHLAND BEACH

Villas at Highland Beach, #A, with 4 bedrooms, 4 ½ baths, 6678 living sq ft, is listed at $9-MM. From Spanish River Boulevard, go north on A1A to 3511 South Ocean Boulevard. The unit has 3-stories and a private elevator going from garage to roof level. With European styling, this stately penthouse home has dazzling ocean views from the 22’ x 18’ Master Bedroom suite, 25’x18’ Living and 21’ x 19’ Family Rooms and Library. Included are a Gym and Media Room. A 25’ x 14’ chef’s kitchen has an adjoining formal dining room wine room and bar area. Private Roof Terrace, Sundeck and Pool are featured. Membership to the Boca Raton Resort Hotel and Beach Club is included. Gated Entrance with Monitored Security. Completion of construction is slated for early 2008. Marilyn can show you this outstanding property… the most luxurious lifestyle… and other condos are available as well in this complex.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

ISRAELI SECURITIES APPROVED AS COUNTY INVESTMENT

The County Commissioners amended the county investment policy so that up to 1% of it’s $1.7BB portfolio can be invested in State of Israel securities, or a maximum of $17MM. Included can be bonds, notes or instruments backed by the full faith and credit of the State of Israel, if rated “A” or higher by Standard and Poor’s and Moody’s ratings services. They must also have a maturity of 2 years or less. The Development Corporation for Israel may act as an authorized broker/dealer for securities backed by the State of Israel only. Backed strongly by Commissioner Burt Aronson, whose Commission District 5 is heavily populated by Jewish families, he pointed out that “Israel has not defaulted on a bond in its 50-year history as a nation." The state of Florida holds at least $230MM in securities issued by the State of Israel and has been an investor for a long time. Governor Charlie Crist and Senator Ted Deutch signed legislation earlier this year called, “Protecting Florida’s Investments Act,” so as not to link public investments with “rogue” nations.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

THINKING ABOUT A NEW LIFESTYLE IN A GATED COUNTRY CLUB?


































Life is GOOD at The Boca Raton Polo Club, a posh, busy, active environment with 2 championship golf courses, active tennis program, swimming, star-studded events, clubs with many interests, special interests including a singles group and children’s activity center and a world-class spa. Come and see this elegantly updated easy-to-manage 2000 sq ft lakefront home with 3 bedrooms, 3 baths. Lush tropical landscaping. Walk to community pool. Price lowered to $699,000 (original price: $899,000!). Friendly community. Mandatory membership dues and fees. For more details call agent/owner Marilyn Farber Jacobs at 561-302-3388 or email marilynfjacobs@gmail.com for more information. Come and see the lifestyle… you owe it to yourself… see the some of the very best that life has to offer…

VIRTUAL TOUR: http://www.visualtour.com/show.asp?T=849937

Saturday, November 17, 2007

FAU PRESENTS “THE NUTCRACKER” BY BOCA BALLET

The 16th annual production of “The Nutcracker” will be held November 23-25 at the FAU Theatre. NYC’s American Ballet Theatre dancers Sara Smith and Jared Matthews will be dancing in the production. Smith began her first serious ballet training at Boca Ballet Theatre at age 11, and later attended the Harid Conservatory for four years on full tuition scholarship, and then receiving a scholarship to train at the Joffrey Ballet School in NYC. She next attended Indiana University with a merit scholarship, majoring in ballet performing and nutrition science, and dancing as the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker and Odette in Swan Lake. In January 2004 Smith joined the American Ballet Theatre as an apprentice. Jared Mathews studied at the North Carolina School of the Arts summer program and with scholarships attended summer intensives at Joffrey Ballet School and School of the American Ballet. In April 2003 he became a member of the corps de ballet of the American Ballet Theatre and was promoted to solist in July 2007. Performances are scheduled at 7 pm Friday November 23, 2 pm and 8 pm on Saturday, November 24 and 2 pm on Sunday, November 25. Tickets are $30 for adults, $25 for children and seniors. Call 561-995-0709 or go to www.bocaballet.org. The Boca Ballet Theatre Volunteer Guild is holding a Gingerbread Ball after both matinee performances, including punch and cookies and a change to meet and get autographs from the dancers. Tickets are $6 and must be purchased in advance, with limited availability.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

South Palm Beach Council Rejects Plan to replace Inn with Condos

A controversial proposal to redevelop the Palm Beach Oceanfront Inn at 3550 South Ocean Boulevard in South Palm Beach into a luxury hotel/condominium was rejected, 5-0, by the Council. Remarks at the 4-hour public hearing last Tuesday night were equally divided between the "yeses" and "nos." It was pointed out that the changes would not create a precedent for future development because the Oceanfront Inn is the only commercial property in town. The proposed redevelopment would have resulted in a 12-story building over two stories of parking. Current law limits new buildings to six stories over one level of parking. The potential property taxes could be a financial windfall for the community. Mayor Maurice Jacobson's described this year-long plus discussion as the "most stressful" and "most overwhelming" issue in memory to concern South Palm Beach. Some felt the density and intensity were too much for the site. Some looked forward to the possibility of a hotel/luxury condominiums on the site.

Monday, October 22, 2007

NATIONAL TRUST HISTORIC HOTELS WELCOMES BRAZILIAN COURT IN PALM BEACH


Citing its history and ambiance, the Brazilian Court, a condominium-hotel that is a favorite Palm Beach landmark, has joined the National Trust Historic Hotels of America, under the auspices of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. There are 200 hotels and resorts in the US that the organization acknowledges for preserving and maintaining historic integrity, architecture and ambience. Built in 1926, and designed by Rosario Candela (who built luxurious Manhattan apartments) the hotel’s south wing was added by Maurice Fatio and William Treanor in 1936. Multi-million dollar improvements were made, starting in 2002 and are now in the final phase. A central see-through lushly landscaped courtyard links the marbled lobby on Australian Avenue with an arched portico on Brazilian Avenue. A barrel-tile roof is accented with cantilevered wrought-iron balconies. The interior “speaks of Provence,” and complements the hotel’s Tuscan-villa roots. Stars who stayed there include Gary Cooper, Greta Garbo, Tommy Lee Jones and designer Bob Mackie and Marjorie Merriweather Post. Featured in the hotel are Café Boulud and the Frederic Fekkai Salon and Spa.

Monday, October 15, 2007

YOUR RENTAL CAR MAY PAY TURNPIKE & BRIDGE TOLLS WITHOUT USING SUNPASS


Customers of Avis, Budget and Hertz will pay daily fees of $2-$2.50 using “Plate-Pass” with charges billed to credit card of renter. “Rent-A-Tollpass” can be used with Dollar and Thrifty for a flat daily fee of $5.95 per rental day or $27.95 weekly with all toll charges included. These agreements are between Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise and American Traffic Solutions and Rent A Toll, Ltd. License plate information will identify the vehicles and electronically collect the toll. In it’s current newsletter, SunPass states that open road tolling will soon be available in 4 turnpike plazas – Lantana, Cypress Creek, Bird Road and Homestead Toll Plaza with plans to add this feature to other turnpike plaza areas. This will entail removal of the concrete islands (barriers, gates and columns) and adding new toll equipment structures and equipment so that cards with SunPass transducers can keep traveling at speeds of 55 mph instead of the current designated speed limit of 25 mph. Go to http://www.sunpass.com/ to update your license plate, check account balance, replenish your account, update your contact info and answer survey questions. Did you know that Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise invested $7.5-MM for generators for all service plazas giving full power for 72 hours without refueling, for use during hurricanes, and has external defibrillators available? Construction updates and real-time traffic info is available at http://www.floridasturnpike.com/. Another site for traffic info is http://www.traffic.com/.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

FIRST BOCADOG WALK – BRING ALONG YOUR POOCH


Do you and your dog look alike? Is yours very small, very large, or very talented? Come to the Canine Carnival and the First BocaDog Walk on Saturday, November 3, 2007 at Mizner Bark, Banyan Trail in Boca Raton and you and your pooch might win a prize! There will be vendors, contests, prizes, and demonstrations. $25 registration fee for you, and the pooch has free admission. Your pooch will get a goodie bag! Registration is at 8:30 am. Walk begins at 9:30 am. Canine Carnival is from 10:30 am to 2 pm. Prizes will be awarded for Best Dressed, Owner/Dog Look Alike, Best of Show, Biggest, Smallest and Most Talented. For more info call 561-305-3351 or go to www.BocaDogMagazine.com/CanineCarnival

Saturday, October 13, 2007

NARRATED BUS TOUR OF DELRAY BEACH HISTORIC DISTRICT


Departing from the Delray Beach Public Library, 110 West Atlantic Avenue at 11 am, The Museum of Lifestyle and Fashion History will begin its Narrated Bus Tour of Historic Delray Beach. To prepay and be sure to get a seat call 561-243-2662.

COLLAGES AND QUILTS TO BE DISPLAYED


Old School Square’s Cornell Museum will have two exhibitions displayed through Sunday, October 28th. 105 Collages and Assemblages will be featured at the National Collage Society’s 23rd Annual Juried Exhibit. Also on display will be 21 quilts from the Manhattan Quilters Guild celebrating the “visual feast” of New York City. It's wonderful to have an opportunity to see the work of these talented people! For more information call 561-243-7972.

Monday, October 08, 2007

WATER, WATER EVERYWHERE…


Alas, all the sand-renourished beach areas in the county have been returned to the ocean by abnormal winds and tides, leaving behind long buried groins, rocks, tree stumps and revetments. Stairs, lifeguard stands and building foundations have also been removed. Nearby parking areas and parks have been flooded. Millions of tons of sand are gone, ensuring death to the off-shore environment. The sand smothers fragile coral reefs and all life that inhabits them, limiting food sources for sports and food fish, interfering with “catches” for the fishermen. According to the NEW YORK TIMES (10-2-07) the world’s polar areas are experiencing an ice melt so vast that predictions are that by 2013 a blue Arctic Ocean will exist. Would you say this is an exercise in futility, and that Mother Nature wins?

Sunday, September 30, 2007

NEW INDEPENDENT LIVING FACILITY – PALADIN IN DOWNTOWN BOCA – GETS “GOAHEAD” FROM CITY COUNCIL


Construction will soon begin on a new luxury high rise independent living facility in downtown Boca Raton at the corner of South Federal Highway and 8th Street, across from the Boca Raton Resort & Club and near Mizner Park and Royal Palm Plaza. Included along with homeownership opportunities and health care options will be in-home healthcare, on-site assisted living, a wellness center, rejuvenating spa, temperature- controlled outdoor swimming pool, private Mercedes transportation to local venues, varied dining options, concierge services, lush amenities, memory support and rehabilitative services. 1-, 2-, and 3-bedroom and larger loft units are available. “The Paladin” will be operated by Sunrise Senior Living. Marilyn Jacobs (561-988-0070) can give you more information on this project.

BOCA RATON HOLIDAY BOAT PARADE DROPPED BY CITY BUT CORPORATIONS COULD CHIP IN TO SAVE IT


Deep cuts in this year’s budget made to meet state legislative mandates eliminated funding for the Holiday Boat Parade, a traditional and popular local event. The Marine Industries Association of Palm Beach County has partnered with the city to run this annual event since 2003, when the Greater Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce dropped the event, but they cannot pay for the parade without the City’s contribution. However, they have said that if the City funds the Boat Parade next year, they will again participate. The City of Boca Raton has also cancelled funding for this year for the downtown concert series, Halloween Happenings and the Police Athletic League, though the PAL got $50,000. Other area boat parades planned include Parade of the Palm Beaches, and events in Boynton-Delray, Pompano Beach and the Winterfest in Ft. Lauderdale. Participation in the boat parade has dropped, but the association would increase the number of participating water craft to 45. Boats decorated for the holidays took part in the parade that traveled south on the ICW from Delray Beach to the Deerfield Beach border. Best entries received prizes in several categories. Boats would pull up along the shore and people donated items for a holiday “Toys for Tots” drive.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

NAR: A GOOD DAY FOR HOUSING… September 18, 2007


Along with “the FED” cutting the discount rate by half a percentage point, the House of Representatives passed the Expanding American Homeownership Act of 2007, HR 1852, offering homeowners a safer alternative to risky mortgage products, helping homeowners who may be facing foreclosure, increasing loan limits and eliminating the statutory 3% minimum cash down payment. Mortgage modifications will allow borrowers to change mortgage terms so they can afford to stay in their home. “Partial Claim” programs will cure a loan default with the FHA lending the borrower money with a no-interest loan due when the property is sold or paid off. The National Association of Realtors (NAR), America’s largest trade association, represents 1.3MM+ members involved in all aspects of residential and commercial real estate and is known as “The Voice for Real Estate.

Friday, September 14, 2007

KRAVIS UPDATE

November 7: Queen Latifah... December 13: Anita Baker... January 30: Dame Kiri Te Kanawa. Kravis Members can buy tickets prior to this Saturdays Public Ticket Sale to be held in the center's Rinker Playhouse, 701 Okeechobee Boulevard, West Palm Beach. There will be refreshments available. To become a Kravis Center member, call 561-651-4320. You can choose your seats at www.kravis.org or call 561-832-7469 or 800-572-8471.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

BEACH CLEANUP SATURDAY SEPT 15TH


Come to Gulfstream Park, 4489 No. Ocean Blvd, Gulfstream, 8-10:30 am and help cleanup, get free t-shirts, drinks and cookies and be awarded community service hours. Pre-reister with Gary Solomon, TheRecipeExchange@Comcast.net, 561-734-9128. www.Sandsifters.org. Gulfstream Park is a small beach park nestled on a hill behind a mass of Sea Grape bushes and shaded by Australian Pines. There are open picnic benches, a few BBQ grills, a children’s play area, showers and restrooms as well as areas to sit overlooking the ocean. The beach is wide and clean and there is usually a lifeguard on duty. Walk the vegetation-covered boardwalk to the beach. There are 86-parking spaces (free). Activities include fishing, swimming and sunbathing – a great place to take the kids to!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

MARCH OF DIMES PRESENTS SIGNATURE CHEFS & WINE EXTRAVAGANZA

Don’t miss this fabulous night of gourmet food presented by 20+ local restaurant chefs (Chef Chair is Zack Bell of Café Boulud in Palm Beach), fine wine spirits, exciting entertainment and live and silent auction prizes at the Marriott Boca Raton, 5150 Town Center Circle on Thursday, October 11, 2007 from 6 pm – 9 pm. Advance Purchased Tickets are $100; $125 on event day. Purchase tickets at marchofdimes.com/florida or call 561-276-2001. Valet parking provided. Located one mile north of Palmetto Park Road on Military Trail in Boca Raton.

Monday, September 03, 2007

COASTAL CLEANUP PROJECT IN DELRAY BEACH

Wanting to preserve environmental resources, the city of Delray Beach joins the Sandoway House Nature Center located at 142 South Ocean Boulevard in celebrating Florida Coastal Cleanup Saturday starting at 9 am at the nature center on September 15th. Local residents are asked to participate. The annual event is the largest and most successful volunteer effort of this type of project. Thousands of worldwide volunteers from more than 90 countries have, since 1986, cleared more than 100-MM lbs. of trash from 170,000 miles of shorelines, rivers, lakes and wetlands. They are given free commemorative t-shirts, water and snacks for as long as the supplies last and earn community service hours. Pre-registration can be made by calling 561-274-7263, Registration forms can be found in the lobby of Delray Beach City Hall, 100 NW 1st Avenue, and should be completed and returned to Jennifer Buce, litter prevention coordinator.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

BOCA RATON PUBLIC LIBRARY CHESS CLASS A HIT!


Kids from 7-17 have been learning the moves and strategies of chess on Saturday mornings this past summer at the Boca Raton Public Library. Chess is a game that strengthens one’s critical thinking skills. Retired educator Barbara McManus, a member of the City of Boca Raton Education Advisory Board, suggested and then supervised the classes. Other Board Members became instructors. McManus explained that chess is NOT a game of luck, but rather of the ability of the players to analyze, reason, and plan ahead and involves geometric patterns and spatial relationships. McManus hopes to coordinate another series of chess classes at the Boca Raton Public Library in the coming year. Volunteers to teach chess or participate in another way can contact Catherine Vanden Broeck, volunteer coordinator for the city of Boca Raton, at 561-393-7700.

Friday, August 24, 2007

RECENT GRANT TO HELP OUR CHILDREN

Remember the slogan, “A (wo)man never stands so tall as when they stoop to help a child?” A new Boca Raton children’s support group, the first of its kind in the US, and other schools with projects devoted to caregiving children, are among the recipients of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s $500,000 grant. About 15,000 children in Palm Beach County care for relatives with mental illness, disability or frailty, without any organized support, taking time away from their education and homework hours. The Volunteers Homebound & Family Caregivers Inc. are helping bring aid to those children, and to promote awareness of the dual role of youth who are both students and young caregivers within families. The Caregiving Youth Project will use grant money to determine whether 1,000 children are emotionally and physically healthy, get adequate education with time for homework. The funding will support 100 children in 10 schools. Among those being worked with are Boca Middle School, Congress Middle School and Lantana Middle School. Olympic Heights High School may be included. There are 192 Boca Middle School students who are caregivers.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

FL DOT BEGINS CONSTRUCTION ON PARTS OF A1A


Work has begun or 2 ½ miles of Delray roadway from south of Linton on A1A to north of George Bush Boulevard. There will be alternate lane closings between 7 am and 6 pm daily through Friday, August 17th, with flaggers on site.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

CAMINO REAL BRIDGE REPAIRS BEGUN


For several years discussion about repairs to the Camino Real Bridge over the Intracoastal Waterway in Boca Raton, built in the 1930’s, has been discussed, and now it has started and completion is scheduled in mid-November. Boat traffic on the ICW will be able to pass under the bridge. Painting and repair of the beams and “a different deck” are planned, to be paid for by Palm Beach County. In 1998 the county spent over $100,000 to replace gear boxes. Alternative routes include the Palmetto Park Road Bridge or Hillsboro Boulevard Bridge in Deerfield Beach. Addison Mizner designed Camino Real Boulevard, and Clarence Geist built the bridge.

LUXURY CONDOS GOING UP AT THE BOCA RESORT


One Thousand Ocean is a 52-unit luxury condominium being built adjacent to the Beach Club at the Boca Raton Resort & Club. Included within the 7-story building will be 1- and 2-story residences with beach fillas, and residence and penthouse options with flor-to-ceiling panoramic view. Prices will range from $2.75MM to more than $15MM. Over 50% of the units have been reported as sold.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

WANT A HOUSE IN A WALKABLE, HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT?


Buying a house in a walkable neighborhood is good for your health and good for the environment. Homebuyers, renters, and real estate agents can find houses and apartments in great neighborhoods. Walk Score shows you a map of what's nearby and calculates a Walk Score for any property.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

OCEAN LAND INVESTMENTS ENDS DEAL TO BUY BRINY BREEZES RESIDENCES


The defining issue was “density.” Ocean Land’s plan would have had a living unit density approaching 60 units per acre, which was deemed unacceptable. Then a meeting was planned for Ocean Land to meet with interested parties from the wealthyu nearby communities of Ocean Ridge and Gulfstream, but it could not be done before the date would come when a large portion of Ocean Ridge’s deposit would be non-refundable. The amount would increase from $500,000 to $5-MM. Ocean Land requested more time from the Briny Board (45 days more) to talk with neighbors, and they said “no,” so Ocean Land “pulled out.”

Monday, July 16, 2007

FAR “PUTS MONEY WHERE ITS MOUTH IS” RE PROPERTY TAX REFORM BALLOT

The Florida Association of Realtors, the largest trade group in the state, with 150,000 members, has pledged up to $1-MM to support passage of the Save Our Homes Amendment to allow homeowners to continue the 1992 Amendment for a 3% tax cap or to choose a new “super-homestead” exemption, taking up to $195,000 off their home’s taxable value. Passage of this amendment will provide meaningful tax relief for thousands of families including 1st time homebuyers, and will equalize neighbor’s property taxes, says the FAR President Nancy Riley. She stated that then nurses, police officers, teachers and emergency first responders can afford to live in the communities they serve.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

BOCA MUSEUM PLANS EXHIBIT OF DEGAS SCULPTURES

While a Jacksonville art gallery owner claims the 74 sculptures are “fakes,” made after Degas’ death in 1917, the Museum’s Board of Trustees discounts the art gallery owner’s opinion, noting the goal might be “to get his name in the newspaper.” Museums currently displaying all or portions of the Degas bronzes include the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Getty Museum in Los Angeles and the Chicago Institute of Art in Chicago. The National Endowment for the Humanities has underwritten some of the insurance expenses for the upcoming show. The museum’s website says that the exhibit, DEGAS IN BRONZE, “offers an extremely rate opportunity to view 74 sculptures, posthumously cast in bronze from Degas’ original composite and wax models.”

Monday, July 09, 2007

IN MY HUMBLE OPINION…

With reports just in that New York City and Salt Lake City are avoiding “the [real estate] bust,” can Palm Beach County be far behind? Some investors tell me they are “sitting on the sidelines” waiting for prices to keep dropping… other investors want to “sell and get out now,” but in many cases sellers are “standing pat.” Expired listings number near or over 500 properties each day. Some sellers cancel listings after getting low low bids. Remember that June and July are usually “slow months” with so many residents and part-timers out of town. August has been an outstanding month for sales in past years as folks come down to purchase residences for this coming winter… perhaps that will happen in 2007 as well. As a Realtor, I can tell you that every day in this career is exciting… new faces… new properties… no two ever alike. Like the stock market, real estate is cyclical… and what goes down will go up… just a matter of time. Stay cool. Hang in there.

Marilyn Farber Jacobs, Realtor, ePRO

GREEN IS THE BUZZWORD TODAY

An Environmentally Certified “Green” $25-MM mansion is being built in Manalapan.

Frank McKinney has been building one-of-a-kind mansions in the area for the last 20 years, and is now creating an oceanfront estate that is approved by the standards of the US Green Building Council and the Florida Green Building Council. The entire project will be the subject of a documentary series. Groundbreaking is being filmed as part of this program. A scale model has been made.

The 15,000 sq ft 3-story mansion will be rooted in nature, and will feature

  • thatched roofs
  • water gardens
  • floating sun terraces
  • a waterfall spa with fire feature
  • interior acrylic main floor with moving water below
  • a 24’ sheer water wall with fog/smoke screen on which moving images are projected
  • suspended double-helix main glass staircase
  • hand-blown chandelier that mixes electricity with water
  • arched aquarium wet bar to be able to walk below and view the fish above
  • guesthouse made of palm and bamboo that is partially submerged in a lagoon.

“Green” features will include

  • solar panels that could cover a regulation-size basketball court to generate enough energy for two average-size homes
  • water system that collects enough “gray” runoff water to fill the average swimming pool every 2 weeks
  • reclaimied wood amounting to saving 7 ½ acres of Brazilian rain forest
  • renewable woods that regenerate every 3 years vs. every 50 years for other hardwoods
  • pools, reflecting ponds, water gardens, misters and more to drop the site temperature 3-5 degrees over neighboring properties
  • recycling 340,000 lbs of debris during construction
  • air-conditioning and air purification systems four times better than an operating room in the Mayo Clinic.

MacKinney has written two best-selling books, and raises millions of dollars for his Caring House Project Foundation to build housing for the poor in the United States, Haiti, South America, and the Caribbean.

Governor Charlie Crist plans to reenergize the state with a mixture of solar, wind and nuclear fuel. He is expected to emphasize using renewable fuels and include mandates for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Friday afternoon, after two days of workshops and speeches at the Florida Climate Change Summit, Crist will sign executive orders and put his plan into law. Crist has signed California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Theodore Roosevelt IV to the bill along with various Hollywood personalities and scientists, renewable-energy advocates and environmentalists who will talk about how Florida can become more energy-efficient and use alternative fuels.

California Governor Schwarzenegger has committing his state to reducing its carbon emissions by 25% by 2020, calling for 1 million solar roofs by 2018, tightening car-emission standards and creating a multi-state global warming group and it is speculated that this will happen also in Florida.

Florida Power & Light Co., the state's largest utility, maintains that using renewable fuels and more stringent energy-conservation steps won't be able to support all of Florida's future growth.

According to an FPL spokesman, "What you have heard from the environmental movement is that we can get there through renewables or we can get there through offsetting the energy that we are demanding today. And what we're saying is that (it) will not get you there. You will still need to build power plants." Crist has praised FPL for exploring a wind power project in St. Lucie County and is ecstatic about utility regulators denying the utility's plan to build a "clean coal" power plant in Glades County.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

IDEAS FOR the 4th of JULY

BOCA RATON:

Wear your red, white and blue outfit and mosey over to FAU, beginning at 6 pm on Wednesday, July 4th for a musical revue at 4 pm of “An American Songbook: Irving Berlin, at FAU’s University Theater. Tickets are $20. At 5:30, a few blocks away, the outdoor event will begin with games at the carnival midway and family activities. The muxic beings with the “Rumor Has It” band offering music of the 1950’s and 1960’s. At 6 pm family activities are held and at 6:30 pm there will be a stage show, “You’re A Grand Old Flag. At 7:30 the Florida Wind Symphony presents a patriotic musical tribute including vocal selections from the “Irving Berlin Review” and popular family musical, “Bye Bye Birdie, both currently being presented at the University Theatre.

At 9 pm, a fireworks display will take place with traditional patriotic music supplied by Radio station WRMF 97.9 FM.

Other activities include appearances by FAU athletic teams and coaches, clowns amking animal sculptured balloons, face painting, sand art, gift drawings and family games. Special music and activities will be provided by the Childrens Museum and Glass Productions. “Operation Goody Boxes”, coordinated by the Humanitarian Society and othes, will receive monetary donations at their tent by the stage area to prepare and mail “goody boxes” to troops overseas.

Food vendors will provide picnic-type foods. No personal fireworks, open fires, pets or alcoholic beverages allowed. Bring blankets and lawn chairs. Closest parking lots to the events are 1, 2, 4 and the parking garage next to parking lot 1. Those with handicapped needs are asked to use the 20th Street entrance and go to parking lot 1. For information call 561-393-7806, selection 2.

DELRAY BEACH:

Join the day-long celebration on the beach, an ongoing tradition in Delray, starting at 8 am on Wednesday July 4th. Three days in advance world-class sand sculptors being their work, with a grand unveiling of the large-scale sculpture on July 3rd. At 10 am there will be a flag raising ceremony of a 30’x60’ American flag near the intersection of Ocean Boulevard and Atlantic Avenue. At 4 pm the traditional Patriotic Bicycle and Scooter Parade will leave from Veterans Park and head for the beach. New bicycles, helmets, gift cards and more will be awarded for the best decorated bicycles, wagons and scooters.

There will be music, entertainment and food available at restaurants on the beach. At 8:45 pm Mayor Rita Ellis will lead the pledge of allegiance and at 9 pm the fireworks begin accompanied by music.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

HOME & CONDO SALES PREDICTED TO MAKE STRIDES

More and more positive mentions of home sales are being seen in the media.

NAR projects that sales will have a gradual upturn becoming more pronounced by the end of 2007. FAR reports that statewide sales of existing single-family homes in Florida totaled 12,607 in May, which is more in line with May 2002 activity, prior to the housing boom years, than May 2006 with 19,072 homes – a 34% decrease in the year-to-year comparison.

The MSA (Metropolitan Statistical Area) reported that the Boca-West Palm area had 741 homes sold last month compared to 982 a year ago, producing a 25% decrease. Median price was $387,800 whereas in May 2006 it ws $391,000 resulting ina 1% decrease. 613 existing condos changed hands last month, up 11% from the 552 condos sold the previous year. Existing condo medial sales price in May was $217,400; a year ago it was $218,900, for a 1% decrease.

Among the state’s larger markets, the West Palm Beach-Boca Raton Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) reported 741 existing homes sold last month compared to 982 homes sold a year ago for a 25 percent decrease. The market's median sales price for homes was $387,800; it was $391,000 in May 2006 for a 1 percent decrease. A total of 613 existing condos changed hands in the MSA last month, up 11 percent from the 552 condos sold the previous year. The existing condo median sales price in May was $217,400; a year ago, it was $218,900 for a 1 percent decrease.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

ISRAEL BONDS INVESTMENT BILL SIGNED BY GOV CHRIST

A bill authorizing county and local governments throughout the state to invest surplus funds in bonds backed by the full faith and credit of the State of Israel has been adopted by the Florida State Legislature, starting July 1st, and was signed by Governor Charlie Christ on June 8th at a ceremony at Temple Beth El in Boca Raton.

Those authorized to invest are state agencies, municipal fire and police pension funds and local governments.

Gov. Christ recently returned from a trip to Israel that focused on bilateral trade between Israel and the State of Florida.

The first Israel bond was sold in 1951 and close to $25-billion in investment capital has been secured for the development of every aspect of Israel’s economy including agriculture, commerce and industry, and to absorb Jews from the former Soviet Union, Ethiopia and elsewhere.

More than $100-million of Israel Bonds are purchased every year within the State of Florida by individuals, corporations, pension plans, universities, hospitals, foundations, unions, banks and insurance companies.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

BOCA TEECA TOWNHOUSE PROJECT NEARS FINAL RULING


The Planning and Zoning Board recommended the 211-unit townhouse project to be built on 30 acres on the southwest edge of Ocean Breeze Golf Course at Boca Teeca to the City Council after a hearing this past week. A public hearing will be held on August 14, and next the Department of Community Affairs must review the proposal. It then goes back to City Counsel in November or December for a final vote, requiring 4 yes votes of the 5 members voting. The proposal includes renovating the Inn at Ocean Breeze by adding 46 hotel rooms to the existing 46, and refurbishing the Boca Teeca clubhouse by adding a new social center. Included would be creating a new 9-hole executive golf course and a redesigned 18-hole golf course on the existing fairways. The townhouses would have golf course views. President of the President’s Council said that “the overwhelming majority of Boca Teeca unit owners fully endorse this plan and voluntarily agree to lift the deed restriction on 30 acres of the south course to allow for a limited 211-unit town home project.” Concerns included traffic along NW 2nd Avenue and the loss to some residents of golf course views.

Monday, June 11, 2007



“PROTECTING FLORIDA’S INVESTMENTS ACT” SIGNED

Florida has now become the first state in the US to link its public investments with the actions of “rogue” nations.

The new law allows Florida to divest some of its $150-BB fund and other public investments from firms that refuse to stop doing business with or otherwise support Iran and Sudan. Genocide and the development of nuclear weapons by Iran, the “world’s leading state sponsor of terror,” will not be sponsored by Florida, said Senator Ted Deutch (D-Boca Raton) and he praised Florida Governor Charlie Christ, just back from a trip to Israel, for signing the bill.

Deutch says he is working with other states to accomplish a similar program, and Governor Christ has sent letters to Governors of 49 other states encouraging them to follow suit. Deutch said the use of the law would require three steps: Identify firms with ties described by the law, Engage those firms “in a dialogue that causes them to understand what they are doing, and Ask that those ties be severed. If they are not severed, those stocks will be divested from the pension funds holdings.

This bill was signed by Governor Christ at Temple Beth El in Boca Raton.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

TAX CUTS ARE IN.....





















Dear Property Tax Reform Supporter:


I am excited to announce that an agreement has been reached between the House and the Senate on the tax cut levels for historic relief and reform package that will save Florida taxpayers $31.6 billion over the next five years. This is, by far, the largest tax cut in Florida’s history.

I cannot be more proud of the excellent work of our negotiating team and the valuable input from our respective legislative chambers. Together, we are bringing forth a thoughtful and comprehensive plan that will give every property owner – homestead, non-homestead residential, and commercial/industrial – a tax cut this year. We are confident that when this plan is implemented, Floridians will finally have a more equitable tax system that will yield property tax bills that they can afford to pay.

The details of the plan are provided below. Thank you for continued involvement in this very important issue. Please e-mail us at info@nomorepropertytax.com for more information.

Sincerely,

Marco Rubio

Speaker, Florida House of Representatives



$15.6 billion in Immediate Tax Relief and Reform (Statutory Changes)

  • Beginning this year, every category of property taxpayer will benefit from the cut and the cap that the statute imposes.
  • All cities and counties will be required to cut taxes in the upcoming 2007-2008 fiscal year to the 2006-2007 revenue levels. These local governments will then be required to make an additional cut of 3%, 5%, 7% or 9%. The level of cuts will be determined by a formula that analyzes their taxing performance over the past 5 years, measured against a statewide average.
  • Special taxing districts and fiscally limited cities and counties will be required to cut taxes to the 2006-2007 revenue levels and make an additional cut of 3%.
  • A cap on future property tax revenues (based on the rate of personal income growth and new construction) will be imposed to ensure that government cannot grow faster than personal income.
  • Local governments may override the cut and the cap. The method for the override will vary based on the magnitude of the local government’s action (escalating from a supermajority vote of the local governing body, to a unanimous vote of the local governing body, to a referendum).

$16 billion in Further Tax Relief and Reform (Constitutional Amendment)

  • The estimated average savings for a homestead property (combining statutory and constitutional changes) will be $1,300 in 2008-2009. This average savings represents a 44% reduction.
  • “Save our Homes” is replaced with a new “super exemption”. An estimated 73% of homesteaded properties will receive a greater benefit under this new exemption.
  • The new “super exemption” will be as follows:
    • Level 1: Homestead Property will receive an exemption of 75% of the first $200,000 in value of the home. The minimum exemption is $50,000 per homestead.
    • Level 2: In addition to Level 1, homestead property will obtain another 15% exemption for the next $300,000 in value.
  • We will grandfather the tax savings and assessment cap for the minority of property owners who have greater benefits under the current “Save our Homes” plan.
  • We will preserve all existing constitutional exemptions based on special circumstances, including those now provided to disabled veterans, low income seniors and agricultural lands.
  • Because the tax base for all taxing authorities will decline under the constitutional amendment, the fiscal analyses reflects a reduction in school funding. We intend to hold schools harmless from these cuts.

Other Constitutional Changes

There has been agreement to address remaining issues such as additional relief to low income elderly taxpayers, offering incentives for affordable housing and providing tax reform for “working waterfronts” and small businesses. Small businesses will receive a $25,000 tangible personal property tax (TPP) exemption resulting in a total exemption for $1 million of the 1.3 million businesses who must pay this tax. Furthermore, those who receive a total exemption on their TPP will never have to file the burdensome paperwork associated with the tax again.

BRINY BREEZES


The developer’s plan for 60 units per acre in Briny Breezes is being contested by locals. Hottest issue is the density level. It was pointed out by Ocean Ridge Mayor Ken Kaleel that this complex will be built on “a fragile piece of land,”. The developer offered $514-MM for the 43 acres that includes 600’ of the Atlantic Ocean frontage. Right now there are 12 units per acre with the trailers on the land, and Boca Raton, as an example, has maximum density of 20 units per acre. Some of the issues mentioned include overburdening roads, stretching scarce natural resources, and insurance increases from overbuilding on vulnerable barrier islands. Figures were mentioned that there were 488 existing trailers, and plans are to build 1500 units, either condos, timeshares or hotel rooms. The developer describes that portion of A1A as an arterial road, but the FDOT classifies it as a collector road, which is subject to higher standards. The county is concerned about a bigger need for sufficient drinking and firewater as well as traffic concerns and environmental issues. The developer’s preliminary proposal is being reviewed and expected to be finished June 29th, when further debate no doubt will begin. For comments on the proposal you can email Robert Dennis, Regional Planning Administrator at bob.dennis@dca.state.fl.us.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

MORIKAMI MUSEUM & JAPANESE GARDENS CELEBRATING 30TH YEAR


On Monday, June 25, a very special anniversary party, free to members and non-members, will be held at the facilities from 10 am to 5 pm. At 1:30 pm a huge anniversary cake will be cut and served.

There will be two free tours of the Pastimes and Amusements of the Japanese exhibition including Japanese toys, games, musical instruments and other objects depicting the spirit of amusement and playfulness enjoyed in Japan, which officially opens on June 26th. One tour will be held at noon, one at 3 pm, limited to the first 100 people. Two tours will also be offered of the exhibition Yamato Colony at 11 am and 2 pm, each tour limited to 50 people. These are provided by a one-year Florida state grant. Tickets for all tours will be given out on a first-come, first-served basis, starting at 10 am. Guests are invited to stroll through the Japanese Gardens and can use a free audio tour.

For children, a treasure trek activity is being scheduled to take place in the Gardens. The Cornell Café will be open for lunch. The museum store will give a free Japanese fan for purchases over $15 and discounts on some items.

The Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens are owned and operated by the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department. They are located at 4000 Morikami Park Road in Delray Beach off Jog Road between Linton Boulevard and Clint Moore Road. 561-495-0233 or www.morikami.org.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

FLORIDA’S HERITAGE TO BE SHOWN IN ART SHOW & THEATRE AT SUGAR SANDS PARK

Willow Theatre presents “The Life of Ivy Stranahan: A florida Pioneer, Saturday June 23rd at 2 pm. Reknowned historical Chautauqa portrayal artist tells tales of old Florida, with Mrs. Stranahan trekking through knee-deep mud, championing the Seminole Indians cause and becoming Ft. Lauderdale’s first teacher, a portrait of achievement and courage. Tickets are $12. Purchase at box office (561-347-3948).

The Boca Historical Society exhibits will include”Herstory: Boca Raton’s Pioneer Women.”

Sugar Sands Park Community Center and the Willow Theatre are located at 300 S. Military Trail, B oca Raton (561-347-3900 or www.sugar-sandpark.org).