• Palm Beach Civic Association Kicks Off Holiday Season
  • Civic Association Director George Cohon Speaks About Leadership to Town Public Safety Team
  • Year in Review: Anti-Terrorism Drill Held at Port of Palm Beach [Video]
  • Utilities Undergrounding Peer Review Available
  • This Week in Palm Beach Video 12-8-2017

 

home thumb sml this-week

home thumb sml elections

home thumb sml people places

home thumb sml event news

home thumb sml photos

home thumb sml videos

home thumb this week

home thumb elections

home thumb event news

home thumb people places

home thumb photos

home thumb video

Palm Beach Civic Association Kicks Off Holiday Season
By: Maureen O’Sullivan Special for the Civic Association — The Palm Beach Civic Association kicked off the holiday season during its Annual Holiday Party in the Circle Dining Room at The Breakers on December 11, 2017.
Civic Association Director George Cohon Speaks About Leadership to Town Public Safety Team
By Michele Dargan, Special for the Civic Association -- Nothing can take the place of persistence in achieving success, says George Cohon, senior chairman and founder of McDonald’s in Canada and Russia.
Year in Review: Anti-Terrorism Drill Held at Port of Palm Beach [Video]
Year-In-Review: There was a massive show of force at the Port of Palm Beach Monday.
This Week in Palm Beach Video 12-8-2017
The Civic Association is proud to announce an overview of This Week in Palm Beach on video with news correspondent Christina Noce. See the video below and let us know what you think!
UPDATE 12-8-2017 1:00 PM: Presidential Visit this Weekend
Beginning at approximately 1:00 PM on Friday, December 8, 2017, the process of closing roadways around Mar-A-Lago will be initiated. The closure will be in effect through Sunday, December 10, 2017. [Updates in Red]
This Week in Palm Beach - December 8, 2017
Get the news that is important to you in This Week in Palm Beach. December 8, 2017 edition. Click Here To See Original Full E-Newsletter
This Week in Palm Beach - December 1, 2017
Get the news that is important to you in This Week in Palm Beach. December 1, 2017 edition. Click Here To See Original Full E-Newsletter
Bradley Park Beautification Ribbon Cutting Scheduled
The Preservation Floundation gave a presentation this week to the Civic Association Beautification Committee on the Bradley Park transformation project.
Top Stories
Palm Beach Civic Association Kicks Off Holiday Season
Posted by R. Michael Brown
Published: Thursday, 14 December 2017 15:38

By: Maureen O’Sullivan Special for the Civic Association — The Palm Beach Civic Association kicked off the holiday season during its Annual Holiday Party in the Circle Dining Room at The Breakers on December 11, 2017.

The festive cocktail reception, which drew 300 members, sponsors and guests, provided an opportunity for supporters of the Civic Association to share some holiday cheer. 

Bob Wright, Chairman and CEO, welcomed the guests, which included Town Council members, Town Managers and County Commissioners. He acknowledged the evening’s Signature Sponsors, The Frisbie Group and The Breakers, and thanked the Favor Sponsors, Boca Nursing Services, Inc., and Campazzi Concierge Medicine.

Mr. Wright said the 2017-18 season was being dedicated to the memory of Stanley M. Rumbough, Jr., who passed away at age 97 on September 27, 2017, and acknowledged Mr. Rumbough’s wife, Janna, who was in attendance and received a round of applause.

Mr. Wright described Stan Rumbough as a much beloved and respected civic leader, entrepreneur and philanthropist, and that the former Civic Association CEO and Co-Chairman, had given 40 years of active and dedicated service to the Association.

Mr. Wright closed his remarks with hearty thanks to PBCA President Ned Barnes, and best holiday wishes to all.

 Photos by Capehart Photography

2017 Holiday Party

Top Stories
Civic Association Director George Cohon Speaks About Leadership to Town Public Safety Team
Posted by R. Michael Brown
Published: Thursday, 14 December 2017 13:00

By Michele Dargan, Special for the Civic Association -- Nothing can take the place of persistence in achieving success, says George Cohon, senior chairman and founder of McDonald’s in Canada and Russia.

He should know. It took Mr. Cohon 14 years to ink a deal with the Russian government, allowing him to open the first McDonald’s there in 1990.

Despite obstacles along the way, he persisted in pursuing avenues and making connections until his idea came to fruition.

“There are 650 McDonald’s restaurants in Russia today and 50,000 Russian employees,” he said. “It’s a Russian success story.” Or, as Mr. Cohon refers to it, “Hamburger Diplomacy.”

A Civic Association Director and member of the executive committee, Mr. Cohon spoke to more than 30 members of the police and fire departments Monday as part of the Town of Palm Beach Public Safety Leadership Series. The series is designed to have community leaders share their success stories in an effort to help develop future department leaders.

The noon meeting, held in the Society of the Four Arts’ Dixon Education Building, was catered by McDonald’s. Mr. Cohon, 80, grew up on the south side of Chicago in a rough neighborhood. He graduated from Drake University in Iowa and Northwestern University School of Law. “Part of my success is because of what I learned on the south side of Chicago,” Mr. Cohon said. “I learned street smarts there. Ray Kroc, our founder, had a great saying, ‘None of us is as good as all of us.’ Together you do things.

All the successes that I’ve had in my life, and I’ve been very fortunate, is because of the people working together with me. No one person does it. Too often the CEO or the founder gets too much of the credit, but I try to pass the credit around, which is what we all should do.”

After graduating from law school, Mr. Cohon realized that he hated practicing law. “Look forward to coming to work each day,” he said. “If you’re in a job and you’re not looking forward to what you’re doing, you’re in the wrong job. Get up in the morning and go to work with an energy. If you’re burned out in what you’re doing, change jobs. Be happy in what you’re doing.”

It was through a client who wanted to buy a McDonald’s franchise that Mr. Cohon met Ray Kroc. When the deal with Mr. Cohon’s client fell through, Mr. Kroc offered a franchising opportunity for Eastern Canada to Mr. Cohon for $70,000. Mr. Cohon borrowed the money, moved his family to Canada and opened his first restaurant in London, Ontario in 1968.

“You build the company one store at a time and you never forget that the customer is the most important person in your life,” he said. “You exist because of the customer.” It was in 1976 that he received a call from the Canadian government, asking to borrow his customized Greyhound bus to entertain the Russians during the summer Olympics in Montreal that year. The next Olympics in 1980 was going to be held in Moscow and the Russian delegation (called the Soviet Union at the time) was going to be in Montreal.

While walking in Montreal with his family, Mr. Cohon saw his bus with the Russian diplomats coming out of the bus. He wanted to meet them, but was stopped by an official who told him that he needed to go through the Protocol Department in Ottawa in order to meet them.

“I told him, ‘the protocol is that I own the bus,’” Mr. Cohon said. One of the Russians understood English and they all wanted to thank Cohon for loaning them the bus. They invited him to dinner. Mr. Cohon said that he would go to dinner with them, but first wanted to stop off for a snack. He took them to McDonald’s.

“They had seen a McDonald’s and never heard of it,” he said. “They fell in love with it.” Mr. Cohon asked the Russians how they thought McDonald’s would do if he opened one in the Soviet Union.

They thought it would be successful, Mr. Cohon said. “That was the entry point for getting McDonald’s into the Soviet Union,” he said. “Everyone thinks we plotted it and it was some Machiavellian scheme. What really happened was, ‘the protocol is I own the bus,’ and that started the dialogue.

GeorgeCohonPublicSafety w800

“Understand what was going on in 1976 between the United States and the Soviet Union,” he said. “President Ronald Reagan is saying it’s the evil empire. It’s the heart of the Cold War. It’s Communism versus Capitalism and I went into this country during all that. I never viewed them as the enemy. I never was afraid when I was there.” Mr. Cohon said he and his team met with anyone who would meet with them to try and get the first McDonald’s open in Moscow in time for the 1980 Olympic Games.

By 1979, Mr. Cohon thought he had a deal in hand after he met an athlete on the Soviet basketball team, who said he could help facilitate it. Mr. Cohon said he was holed up in a hotel room for 17 days waiting to ink the deal. “After 17 days, I thought I was going in for a signing ceremony and the look on his face told me that the deal was dead,” Mr. Cohon said. “This is after spending five years of my life and millions of dollars.”

During this time, Mr. Cohon read a favorite inspirational piece of Mr. Kroc’s called “Press On.” The takeaway is that persistence and determination pay off in the end. Mr. Cohon became friends with Alexander Yakovlev, the Soviet Ambassador to Canada, who told him “the ideology will change.”

After spending four million dollars, the McDonald’s board of directors were pessimistic that he would ever be able to open a McDonald’s in the Soviet Union. Mr. Cohon heard things like: “You’ll never get good employees, because the Russians are not service oriented. You won’t be able to build nice buildings. You won’t be able to get product there and you won’t make money.”

When Mikhail Gorbachev came into power, Mr. Yakovlev was called back to the Soviet Union and was put in a high position in the government with his office right next to Mr. Gorbachev’s. Mr. Yakovlev put Mr. Cohon in touch with the Mayor of Moscow, which started the breakthrough and eventually sealed the deal.

The McDonald’s in Moscow opened on Jan. 21, 1990. There were 10,000 people waiting in line by 6:30 a.m. The restaurant served 34,000 that day, the most ever served at any McDonald’s in one day. It’s a record that’s stands to this day.

In 1999, Mr. Cohon published a book that recounts his path to getting McDonald’s into the former Soviet Union called, “To Russia With Fries.” The book was a bestseller.

Mr. Gorbachev, who became a friend of Mr. Cohon’s, wrote the forward. Mr. Cohon gave a book to each of the public safety employees who attended his talk.

Mr. Cohon became a Canadian citizen in 1975 and lives in Toronto and Palm Beach with his wife of 57 years, Susan. They have two sons and three grandchildren.

In 2009, Mr. Cohon received the Woodrow Wilson Award for Corporate Citizenship. He’s received the highest public service award from three continents. Among other awards, he’s an officer of the Order of Canada for outstanding service to his country; he received the Order of Ontario; he was awarded Russia’s Order of Friendship and he received the Israel Prime Minister Medal.

Mr. Cohon said it’s important to him to do charitable work. He is the founder of Ronald McDonald House Charities in Canada and in Russia and a founding patron of Ronald McDonald Houses.

Mr. Cohon left the attendees of Monday’s seminar with a piece of advice. “Check your ego at the door,” he said. “It’s not an easy thing to do. But if you check your ego at the door and realize that none of us is as good as all of us, you’ll get along better in life.”

 

Top Stories
Year in Review: Anti-Terrorism Drill Held at Port of Palm Beach [Video]
Posted by R. Michael Brown
Published: Tuesday, 12 December 2017 12:48

Year-In-Review: There was a massive show of force at the Port of Palm Beach Monday.

Local, state, and federal law enforcement practiced their response to a terrorist attack. It's called "Operation Guardian." Click to see video below:

WPTV-NBC5 [2:01]

 

Officers participated in active-shooter drills, hostage situations, and dealing with violent protesters.

About 350 officers from eight different agencies took part in the training.

"When an incident happens like you have in Orlando or Fort Lauderdale Airport, more than one agency is going to be involved and we have to know how each other works," said Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw.

Bradshaw said the training is more important than ever because President Trump is making Palm Beach County his part-time home.

See More (WPTV-NBC5)

Top Stories
This Week in Palm Beach Video 12-8-2017
Posted by R. Michael Brown
Published: Friday, 08 December 2017 14:00

The Civic Association is proud to announce an overview of This Week in Palm Beach on video with news correspondent Christina Noce. See the video below and let us know what you think!

The video will be distributed on social media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and others. Follow us!  

Click video to play it - Civic Association This Week in Palm Beach Overview [3:29]

Click Here to See a Web Version of This Week in Palm Beach


Click Here to Subscribe to This Week in Palm Beach

 

Tell us what you think!  Contact Mike Brown, Communications Director at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Transportation
UPDATE 12-8-2017 1:00 PM: Presidential Visit this Weekend
Posted by R. Michael Brown
Published: Friday, 08 December 2017 10:30

Beginning at approximately 1:00 PM on Friday, December 8, 2017, the process of closing roadways around Mar-A-Lago will be initiated. The closure will be in effect through Sunday, December 10, 2017. [Updates in Red]

The FAA issued flight restrictions for the area around Palm Beach from 11 p.m. Friday to 9:30 a.m. Saturday. A separate FAA notice restricts flights in the area from 2:30 p.m. Saturday to 6 p.m. Sunday. The president is expected to arrive late Friday night from a rally in Pensacola. On Saturday the president will head to Mississippi and back in the afternoon. 

Expect the usual roadblocks around Mar-a-Lago from Friday through Sunday:

Mar a LagoRoadBlock w600

Other FAA advisories were issued for weekend trips to Pensacola on Friday, and Jackson, Miss., on Saturday so be on the lookout for several presidential motorcades and additional temporary road closures in the area.

From the Town of Palm Beach:

It is recommended that all household staff, landscaper maintenance companies, pool companies, etc. adjust their schedules accordingly so as not to spend an unnecessary amount of time in traffic due to the 1 PM closure.

As always, motorists are strongly encouraged to refrain from cellular phone use or any other distractions while driving to assist in the movement of traffic.

During the closure period, all forms of travel, including pedestrian travel, are prohibited on S. Ocean Blvd from the intersection of S. County Road to Southern Boulevard. The travel restrictions will also extend eastward to the ocean.

If you are a resident living south of the South Ocean Blvd. and South County intersection you will be granted access with proper credentials.

Traffic heading east on Southern Boulevard will only be allowed to exit right at the roundabout to South Ocean Boulevard. Northbound travelers on South Ocean Boulevard will exit onto westbound Southern Boulevard.

Anyone traveling south on South County Road or South Ocean Boulevard will be redirected north at the intersection of those roads.

As a reminder, commercial vehicles (including landscaping trucks) are prohibited from traveling east on Southern Blvd and North of the 1200 block of S. Ocean.

Marine security zones will be in effect during this period.

Press

President in Palm Beach: Ninth Visit Comes with New Wrinkles

President Donald Trump’s upcoming visit to Mar-a-Lago should feature the least disruptive arrival motorcade of his presidency and a brief Saturday reprieve for weekend pilots who are grounded when the president is in town.

Trump, whose eight previous presidential visits have often snarled rush hour traffic between Palm Beach International Airport and his tropical White House, isn’t expected to arrive on Air Force One until 11 p.m. or later Friday night.

Read More (Palm Beach Daily News)

This Week in Palm Beach
This Week in Palm Beach - December 8, 2017
Posted by Stephan Nilson
Published: Thursday, 07 December 2017 17:12

Get the news that is important to you in This Week in Palm Beach. December 8, 2017 edition.

Click Here To See Original Full E-Newsletter

Active ShooterTo subscribe to This Week in Palm Beach and receive it in your inbox, CLICK HERE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Week in Palm Beach
This Week in Palm Beach - December 1, 2017
Posted by Stephan Nilson
Published: Friday, 01 December 2017 15:54

Get the news that is important to you in This Week in Palm Beach. December 1, 2017 edition.

Click Here To See Original Full E-Newsletter

AnglerAveTo subscribe to This Week in Palm Beach and receive it in your inbox, CLICK HERE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top Stories
Bradley Park Beautification Ribbon Cutting Scheduled
Posted by R. Michael Brown
Published: Friday, 01 December 2017 10:41

The Preservation Floundation gave a presentation this week to the Civic Association Beautification Committee on the Bradley Park transformation project.

A Ribbon Cutting ceremony to re-open the park is scheduled for Tuesday, December 12, 2017 at 9 a.m.

Over the summer of 2017, the Preservation Foundation transformed Bradley Park through a $2.7 million project that fully realized Colonel E.R. Bradley’s vision for a town-serving park along the shore of Lake Worth. Enhancements include a quarter-mile-long meandering stone dust path that incorporates benches and leads pedestrians through a series of exhibition gardens separated by tall Podocarpus hedges.

The presentation to the Civic Assocition was given by Amanda H. Skier, Preservation Foundation Executive Director, and Brian Vertesch, SMI Landscape Architecture.

Read More (Preservation Foundation)

By Michele Dargan, Special to the Civic Association - With the reoccurring theme of the veteran versus the newbie, Town Council hopefuls Martin Klein and Julie Araskog squared off Monday in a Candidates’ Debate sponsored by the Palm Beach Civic Association.

More than 200 people packed the parish hall at The Episcopal Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea to hear the candidates for the Group 2 council seat speak about issues impacting the town. Among those in attendance: Mayor Gail Coniglio and Councilwoman Danielle Moore, who were up for reelection and regained their seats unopposed at the town caucus in January.

The town’s budget, undergrounding, beach erosion and traffic were among the topics discussed and moderated by retired WPTV Channel 5 news anchor Jim Sackett. Civic Association Chairman and CEO Bob Wright welcomed everyone to the debate.

Mr. Klein, an attorney with an office on Worth Avenue, outlined his longtime service on town boards and his 50-year history as a resident and businessman. He currently serves as chairman of the Planning and Zoning Commission.

An attorney and victims’ advocate, Ms. Araskog - a novice to the Palm Beach political scene - touted her new ideas and approaches to town issues. She bought her Palm Beach home in 2012, but has been coming here since 1993.

Neither candidate shied away from taking verbal jabs at the other.

Ms. Araskog portrayed Mr. Klein as pro-development.

“While I worked hard to enact changes in the ARCOM ordinance to increase fairness and neighborhood participation against oversized development and worked hard to reduce the size and cost of the rec center, my opponent advocated for incentivized development with PUD-5 and other changes,” she said. “He simply didn’t get it right. It would have weakened our parking requirements and density, which is against the comp plan. It is not by accident that he’s supported by a boatload of development-minded people.”

Mr. Klein emphasized Ms. Araskog’s inexperience in town government and the fact that she’s a relatively new Palm Beach homeowner.

“Over the past 20 years, I have been appointed five times by our town council to serve this community on our planning and zoning board and code enforcement board,” Mr. Klein said. “I’ve worked side by side, successfully, with all of our community leaders. My opponent has never served a day on a town board. I have a record. In the 1990’s, zoning in the North End was like the Wild West. With my involvement, today we have meaningful zoning and preservation, while protecting private property rights. My opponent prefers zoning by mob rule. On Royal Poinciana Way, we reduced the density … While I’ve been practicing law and solving your problems, my opponent has been in Hollywood.”

Click Below to See the Debate Video [37:15] - Story continues below video.

In the election set for Feb. 7, Mr. Klein and Ms. Araskog are vying for the seat currently held by Town Council President Michael Pucillo. Mr. Pucillo, who served on the council for six years, decided not to run for a fourth term.

Mr. Sackett asked questions of both candidates and posed questions submitted by audience members that he selected by random draw. He also had the candidates ask each other one question.

Among her strengths, Ms. Araskog said she possesses strong leadership and active listening as well as the ability to forge consensus, craft innovative win-win solutions and a willingness to listen to all residents.

Mr. Klein described himself as a positive problem solver and a unifier.

“I’ve had an impeccable record of attendance and have demonstrated that I can work full-time on this Town Council,” he said. “My opponent has no attendance record. I can bring an independent voice. I can bring town government experience and I can bring a history that my opponent doesn’t have.”

Ms. Araskog recently led a successful effort to negotiate a change to an ARCOM ordinance, enabling residents to have more time to review and voice their opinions about proposed construction projects.

On Undergrounding:

Ms. Araskog: “The lack of transparency on the budget is unacceptable. Both the task force and the residents don’t know what it will cost. The Town Council is legally required to move forward, because we have passed a referendum for $90 million. But I believe we can’t break ground until we have a master plan in place and a realistic budget of $90 million. Some areas support undergrounding because they believe it’s safer and a better aesthetic value and they feel it will help property values. Others support hard poles because they believe it’s safer and better monetarily. I understand resident anger over the rising budget, assessment methodology and lack of a plan.”

Mr. Klein: “Undergrounding is a project long overdue,” he said. “Every resident needs safe reliable service. We’ve been talking about it for 10 years and the project is estimated to take 10 years … I commit we will do it either for the $90 million or have another conversation … Nobody can stand here and predict what the cost of the project will be going out 10 years … These projects change and evolve over time. We made a deal with voters to bring this plan in at $90 million … If we can do that wonderful, if we can’t we may have to go back to the voters.”

On the Beaches:

Mr. Klein: “Everybody wants the most sand. The true answer is we need to study it and give our neighbors to the south the protection that they need … and we need to do the same here. It’s expensive. We don’t know what’s able to be permitted. The beach issue is significant. We have a 10-year plan. We need to have another conversation to see what else we can do.”
Ms. Araskog: “We have to bring in new experts. This is a very complicated process, but I do think we have to listen to all the experts and all the comments and study and research more and find the expert who will bring us sand on our beaches. It’s our first line of defense. It affects our property values and it’s important to our town’s values.”

On the Budget:

Ms. Araskog: “Our budget went from $58.5 million in 2012 to over $77 million projected this year. I will protect your tax dollars and savings. We need fiscal responsibility. We have development pressures that threaten our town every day. Developers don’t need incentivizing to build in Palm Beach … We need to rein in our spending both by a zero-based budget and also by looking at our sand.”

Mr. Klein: “People come here because they want the best police protection in the world, the best fire protection in the world, the best EMS protection in the world. That costs money. We had a discussion, not long ago, about reducing residential garbage collection. The residents said, ‘no. We want it just the way it is.’ So the question for me is, ‘what do our residents want and what do they need and let’s deliver that effectively.’ The fact that our budget is going up is a reflection of increasing costs and increasing services that residents demand and need and want … We spend a lot of money for our services. Our residents demand the services. We need to look carefully at the budget and see if we can find savings.”

On Maintaining a Vital Business Community:

Mr. Klein: “What we need to do is look at some of the regulatory processes in town … particularly regarding the small businesses on County Road that would like to open up but are faced with a blizzard of regulations … We’re trying to achieve a balance in this town between the town being a residential community and the town receiving essential services. Maybe we need a conversation how we can encourage to have a balance of a residential and the services we require.”

On Construction and Traffic Congestion:

Ms. Araskog: “We need better light coordination on Royal Poinciana and Okeechobee to get traffic moving smoothly. We also need a (onsite) manager to supervise and oversee the construction. We don’t have that so you have stops everywhere … We have to look at how we’re permitting parking. We need to look at infrastructure and commercial construction to see what we can do to stop the congestion in our town.”

 
Press About the Event

Council candidates spar over experience, development, spending (Palm Beach Daily News)

 

Photos: Capehart Photography

2017 Civic Association Town Council Debate - January 23, 2017

 


ZikaAlertBigBoxAd

TrafficAlertAd w350

FriendsORecreationAd